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No. 21. 

Being the proceedings of the Twentieth Meeting of the Old Dartmouth 
Historical Society, held in their building, Water street, New Bedford, 
Massachusetts, on June 30, 1908. 


Mary Kempton Taber 


Mary Eastman Bradford 


Henry Barnard Worth 

[Note.— The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the 
society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store. 




Old Dartmouth Historical Society 




JUNE 30, 1908. 

The Old Dartmouth Historical so- 
ciety held its twentieth regular meet- 
ing the evening of June 30 with a 
good attendance in spite of the very 
warm weather. The program for the 
evening comprised papers on "The 
Kempton Family in Old Dartmouth," 
by Miss Mary Kempton Talaer; and 
"Social Life among the Friends of Long 
Ago," by Miss Mary Eastman Brad- 
ford. Both papers were listened to 
Avith much interest and cordial appre- 

In introducing the first speaker of 
the evening. President Wood said: 

"In the history of Old Dartmouth 
no name is older than that of Kemp- 
ton for it appears upon our earliest 

Among the many descendants of the 
family of Kempton now living, few 
of them bearing the name, there are a 
goodly number who are living in the 
very district set off to their progeni- 
tor, old Manasseh Kempton, 2 50 years 

"Our fellow member who is to speak 
to us this evening is now living, and 
I believe has always lived in about the 
centre of the largest tract that be- 
longed to this worthy ancestor. She 
is well fitted to speak to you on the 
subject which she has chosen, for she 
has always been proud of the Kemp- 
tons. I introduce Miss Mary Kempton 
Taber, who will address us on the 
Kempton family in Old Dartmouth." 



(Courtesy of the First Congregational Society) 

In each of these Meeting-Houses the Kempton Family were prominent members 

and pew-holders. 

The Kempton Family in Old Dartmouth 

By Mary Kempton Taber 

"Ephraini Kempton arrived at Ply- 
mouth in the ship Ann August, 1623. 
He was tlie first Kempton to come to 
tliis country. (Tlie name was some- 
time spelled Kimton.) His two sons, 
Ephraim and Manasseh, came' with 
him. The father died in 16 4 5, the sons 
were appointed administrators of his 
estate. Ephraim 2d inarried and 
settled in Scituate. 

"Manasseh was a very noteful citizen 
a man of great executive ability; was 
chosen deputy to the general court, 
surveyor of highways, and assessor of 
taxes, serving many terms in each 
office. In 1624 he married Julian, 
widow of George Morton, thvis com- 
mencing what afterward became a 
very close relation with the Morton 
family, especially noticeable in the 
christian names in both families, 
Ephraim and Manasseh being used 
over and over again. 

"He was one of the original 36 
purchasers of Dartmouth in 1652. 

"He died without children in 1662. 
The records said, 'He did much good 
in his place the time God lent him.' 

"In 1714 there was a Manasseh 
Kempton in Southampton, Long- 
Island, by occupation a gunsmith, 
who was formerly of Plymouth. He 
represented the Kempton landed in- 
terest in Dartmouth which he derived 
from his uncle Manasseh. There is 
considerable mystery how the South- 
ampton Manasseh obtained title to 
the Dartmouth lands; as the original 
purchaser left no will his supposed 
heir would be his brother Ephraim, 
but this brother never owned the 
Dartmouth lands according to the 
records; and a still further problem 
is to decide who the Long Island man 
w"as; if the original purchaser was 
his uncle, it might be suggested that 
the Scituate Ephraim could be his 
father, but there is no record estab- 
lishing this fact, and when later this 
gunsmith transfered his Dartmouth 
lands to Ephraim Kempton 3d, he 
calls hina his cousin, which is an ab- 
surdity, if this Ephraim was his ov.n 

"The confusion created by these 
different relationships given in the 
deed, leaves in considerable doubt the 
relation of the Long Island man to 
the families in Plymouth; one thing, 
however, seems certain, that as he 
died about 1736, Manasseh, the first 
purchaser could not have been his 
"In 1733,^eh ti-ansfei'red most 

of his Dartmouth lands, consisting of 
extensive tracts of swamps, wood- 
land, and shore meadows. Years be- 
fore, the proprietors in the division 
of the common lands had allotted to 
the Long Island Kempton extensive 
tracts of upland, meadow and cedar 
swamps in DartmoutJh. The first was 
150 acres at the extreme end of Scon- 
ticut Neck; the second was a farin 
of 100 acres on the east side of the 
Acushnet river north of the terminus 
of the Coggeshall street bridge; the 
third was r, tract of 4 acres on the 
east side of Clarks Point, divided b.v 
Butler street; the fourth was a tract 
of woodland comprising 300 acres in 
Smith Mills, lying between North 
Dartmouth railroad station and fhe 
road between Faunces Corner and 
Hixville; the fifth, known as the 
Homestead and designated by Thomas 
M. Stetson as 'a magnificent rect- 
angle,' was bounded on the east by 
the Acushnet river, on the west by 
Rockdale avenue, its south line 100 
feet south of Spring street, the north 
boundary 100 feet north of Sycamore 
street, and its area over 400 acres. 

"TQie distinguishing marks along the 
south side have been obliterated for 
over a century, except a curious .log 
in the west line of County street in 
front of the residence of the late 
James Arnold, which may be observed 
as late as the Atlas of 1871. 

"The north boundary of the Kemp- 
ton farm can be easil.v traced: Rock- 
dale avenue at a point 320 feet north 
of West Maxfield street, changes its 
direction; this point is tlie north- 
west corner of the Kempton home- 
stead. The line extended about 100 
feet north of Sycamore street, at 
Pleasant street crossing the Armory 
lot, and reacHiing Purchase street 
420 feet north of Maxfield street. 
Within this domain the village of 
Bedford started. The county road 
traversed this farm as early as 1711, 
and later was called County street; 
extending therefrom, east and west, 
were farm lanes whicli afterwards be- 
came the modern streets. On its wa- 
ter front was built 12 of the 15 
wharves that were in existence in 
1820. Here was built in 1794 the first 
school house, situated on Purchase 
street; a meeting house, built in 1795, 
northwest corner of Purchase and Wil- 
liam streets; and dwellings of Bed- 
ford's first luerchants. 

"While the Kemptons owned valu- 
alile interests in Dartmouth from the 

(late of One purchase in 165 2, yet for 
over eighty \ears none of them lived 
on Buzzards bay until Ephraim came 
to Dartmouth in 1736, being the first 
of that name to reside in this part of 
the pros'ince. 

"The Long Island Manasseh in 17 33 
transferred the land on Clarks Neck, 
the homestead on the west side of 
the Acuslnnet liver, and the Smith 
Mills woodland to 'my loving cousin, 
Ephraim Kempton of Plymouth, ship- 
wright'; in his will, probated in 1736, 
he devised the remainder of his Dart- 
mouth lands to 'my kinsman, William 
Kempton, ship carpenter, now living 
in the town of Plymouth.' William 
and Ephraim were sons of Ephraim 
2nd, and it is difficult to understand 
if the Long Islander was another son, 
why he should have described one 
brother as 'my kinsman' and the other 
as 'my cousin.' 

"This included the end of Sconticut 
Neck and the farm on the east 
side of the Acushnet river. In 
1742 William Kempton transferred to 
Jethro Delano the Sconticut Neck 
land, the transfer describing it as 
'given me by my honored Uncle Ma- 
nasseh Kempton, late of Long Island.' 

"William occupied as his homestead 
the farm on the east of the Acush- 
net river. The Smith Mills property 
was conveyed to William Ryder. 

"When the transfer was made of 
the great homestead to Ephraim 
Kempton there must have been a 
family arrangement that a portion of 
it was intended for Samuel Kempton, 
the brother of Ephraim. as a short 
time later Ephraim conveyed to Sam- 
uel the south third of the homestead; 
the north line of this section was 100 
feet south of Elm street. Ephraim 
occupied the remainder of the farm 
as his hoinestead; also the Clarks 
Neck lot until his death in 1758. 

'"Samuel Kempton never resided in 
Dartmouth, but in 1744 conveyed his 
tract of 150 acres to Colonel Samuel 
Willis; it is said that the latter built 
a house for his son, Ebenezer, on the 
west side of County street at the head 
of William street, and when, in 1748, 
Colonel Willis transferred the 150 
acres to Joseph Russell, the latter oc- 
cupied this house as his homestead. 

"William Kempton, the owner of 
the Fairha^•en farm, at his death in 
1787 devised his homestead to his 
three sons, William, Stephen and 
James; it was occupied by these sons 
and their descendants for many years 
after. This farm lay in the hollow 
between the hills, one at Dahls Cor- 
ner and the other at the terminus of 
the Coggeshall street bridge, and ex- 
tended from the river eastward a third 
of a mile; within its limits were the 

Tripp farms, Gould place, and the 
Woodside cemetery. 

"The son, William, Jr., moved to 
Acushnet Village. and at one time 
owned and occupied the house north- 
west corner of Lunds corner. He also 
established on the east side of the 
Acushnet river, the old tavern which 
is situated en the south side of the 
road and is the third building east of 
the bridge, for half a century this 
tavern was a faincus resort for con- 
vivial persons living in New Bedford. 
Ii 1758 at the death of Ephraim 
Kempton the first Dartmouth resident, 
he gave by will his Clarks Neck lot to 
his children, Thomas and Joanna, the 
UiTter the wife of Benj. Drew, she sold 
her interest later to Esther Butler, her 
niece, and they divided the tract and 
Butler street was opened on the divi- 
sion line. Some of this tract is still 
owned by the Kempton descendants. 

"The homestead farm of Ephraim. 
the south third of which was between 
Svcamore and Elm streets, he gave by 
\vill to his son, William, the same who 
lived on the east side of the Acushnet 
river, and the rest of the homestead 
to his son Thomas. 

"The division 'ine between William 
and Thomas was Kempton street, 
vv hich had been opened as a traveled 
lane in 1778 at the time of the British 
raid. In his will William Kempton 
gave the section between Elm and 
Kempton streets to three other sons, 
Benjamin, Manasseh and Ephraim. 

"During the years between 1760 and 
1800 these three Kempton brothers 
were selling house lots. Thomas 
Kempton at his death in 1769, by will 
gave the sections of his homestead be- 
tween Kempton and Hillman streets 
to his son Ephraim, the other half 
of his homestead north of Hillman 
street to his son Thomas. 

"When the Clarks Point tract was 
assigned to Manasseh Kempton, , a 
stream of fresh water flowed north 
into the river, south of where the 
Butler mill is now located. Fresh 
v.'ater was not abundant on Clarks 
Neck, consequently this stream was 
considered a public convenience rather 
than a private right, as in the north- 
west corner of the Kempton tract the 
proprietors laid out a watering ijlace, 
which was a strip of land extending 
fiom the road to the brook over 600 
feet distant; through this strip ten 
rods wide, animals could be driven to 
the water. 

"When the Kempton watering place, 
comprising 4 acres, was found to be 
or greater extent than the needs of 
the public required, the town of New 
Bedford placed a school house at the 
west end and a powder house further 

east. Within a few years tlie old wood- 
e}i scliool house bad given way to a 
handsome bricli structure; but accord- 
ing to the terms of the original grant, 
any person today could drive a herd 
of cattle down by the school house to 
the ancient brook. In a division of the 
Kempton lands in 18 50 among 15 
heirs, they received the numerous 
tracts between County street and 
Kockdale avenue, and on both sides of 
Mill and North street. 

"The lot on the northwest corner 
of County and Mill streets was as- 
signed to Ephraim Kempton, the lot 
next north was allotted to Alfred 
Kempton, and they built their man- 
sions that time on these lots. 

"The land at the northwest corner 
of County and North streets originally 
occupied by the first Kempton house, 
Ixnally came into the possession of the 
late David B. Kempton. 

"The first Kempton dwelling was on 
the northwest corner of County and 
North etreets, occupied by Ephraim 
3d, who died 1758; this home was two 
stories and had a long sloping roof as 
houses were built in those days; was 
taken down by Uavid Kempton 2d 
about 1800, and in its place he erected 
a dwelling, and this was demolished 
by the late David B. Kempton, who 
built a house on the same site. 

"Col. Thomas Kempton's house 
stood on the west side of Waldon 
street, fronted south with a long old 
fashioned north roof. 

"Manasseh Kempton living during 
the Revolutionary War, built his house 
in a field, and when streets were laid 
out it stood on south west corner of 
Second and Elin streets. Manasseh's 
heirs in 1806 sold this house to a 
descendant and it stands today on 
Elm street, next west of the corner of 
Second street. 

"The numerous descendants of the 
Kempton family built their houses on 
different points of the great home- 

"The Kemptons resided only in New 
Bedford and Fairhaven, and not any- 
where else in Dartmouth. 

"No Kempton ever ov/ned a wharf 
or had a ship named for him; for 
over a century after the family settled 
in Dartmouth, only one engaged in the 
whaling business, the late David B. 

"The peculiar development of the 
whaling business seems to have result- 
ed in this condition, the ships were 
built, manned, and repaired, by men 
who resided north of Union street, but 
owned by men living south of Union 

"The Kemptons were farmers, trad- 
ers, and manv mechanics, not engag- 

ing in large enterprises very few met 
with financial reverses. 

"The Kemptons were all Congre- 
gationalists, not one a Quaker. 

"William Kempton owned half a 
pew in the meeting house at Acushnet, 
built 1744. There were 39 proprietors 
of the meeting house on the north 
west corner of Purchase and William 
streets, built 1795. 

"Eight were Kemptons; Ephraim 
owned a whole pew in that meeting 
house. Ephraiin and Manasseh each 
owned a pew in the ineeting house on 
the north west corner of Union and 
Eighth streets, built 1838. 

"The singulai fact is that the Con- 
gregationalists resided north of Union 
street, the Quakers south of Union 
street. The lines drawn between 
Quakers and Pilgrims in 1730 were 
very strong, and any persons of Puri- 
tan tendencies moving into Dartmouth 
after that date would not affiliate with 
the Quakers; and as Epliraim Kemp- 
ton, 3rd, had been an attendant at tfhe 
Congregational church in Duxburj% 
none of his descendants were Quak- 
ers; they were not in any way de- 
pendent upon the Friends, as they 
were rich themselves. 

"The Purchase street school house 
was built about 1794 by a number of 
men connected with the Congrega- 
tional church residing in Bedford vil- 
lage. Among the proprietors were 
Epliraim, Manasseh and Thomas 
Kempton, also Benjamin Hill, whose 
wife was a Kempton. 

"A modern school house, built in 
19 00, is named the Horatio A. Kemp- 
ton school, a grandson of the Eph- 
raim C. Kempton. one of the proprie- 
tors of the school house built in 1794. 

"Tn the New Bedford Mercury of 
1811 is a notice that Thomas Kemp- 
ton 'will open a school in Mrs. Lydia 
Foster's house on the soufhwest cor- 
ner of Purchase and Mill streets,' (she 
was a Kempton). 

"In 1821, he was to open a school 
in the Purchase street school house, 
which stood on the east side of Pur- 
chase street about 90 feet south of 
William street. 

"Smith Mills road, now Kempton 
street, had been opened for travel 
in September, 1778, because Jo!hn Gil- 
bert, a hired man of Joseph Russell's, 
made his escape on horseback from 
the British by that road. Nine years 
later it became a town way. 

"Windmill hill, so called on account 
of a grist mill which stood on the top 
of the hill 100 feet east of County 
street, between Mill and North streets 
The mill was owned and run by a 
Kempton in the year 1792. 

"Before the division of tSie lands, 
the lots west of County street lying 

between Mill and North streets were 
used as circus lots, and small boys 
and girls and children of older growth 
gave peanuts to the elephants, as they 
do at the present day. Also on the lot 
where the High school now stands, 
fireworks were displayed for the first 

"Patience Faunce, wife of Ephraim 
Kempton, 4th, lived to be 105 years 
6 monfhs and 6 days; she lived to the 
greatest age of any person in this part 
of the province; she remembered see- 
ing King Phi'-ip's head on a pole at 
Plymouth, where it remained many 
years; she said, 'there was a wren that 
built a nest every year in the skull, 
and there reared her young.' 

"She is buried at Acushnet. 

"Her epitaph is: 

In peaceful slumber of the dead 
The aged saint reclines her head; 
The paths of virtue long she trod 
Revered of men, beloved of God. 

"When Elizabeth, the wife of 
Ephraim Kempton, heard the British 
were coming, she with her children 
left her home north west corner of 
County and North streets, and fled to 
the Avoods. The traditions that have 
come down in the family are that what 
silver they had she hid in the trunk of 
a tree. She carried with her one of the 
most cherished possessions of the 
family the brass warming pan; as she 
went through the woods the pan hit 
the trees and she was advised to drop 
it, as the British, hearing the noise it 
made might pursue them, but she 
would not part with it; it is now in 
the possession of her two surviving 
great grandchildren. 

"Tradition again says that the 
British ransacked the house, eating 
everything that was cooked, an.l 
throwing numerous articles into the 
well which was north of the house. 

"There is also in possession of one 
of the descendants of the family a 
picture of the Ephraim Kempton 
house which stood on the north west 
corner of County and Kempton streets; 
it was painted by his daughter, Syl- 
via, in 1780. 

"The old Kempton clock is in the 
l)ossession of one of the descendants. 

"Manasseh Kempton of Dartmouth, 
served as first lieutenant in the Revo- 
lutionary War in 175 and 1776. 

"Another Manasseh Kempton of 
Dartmouth served as captain, then was 
made first major, in 1776. 

Col. Manasseh Kempton served in 
177 8. Thomas Kempton, captain in 
1775, made lieutenant colonel in 1776. 
"James Kempton of Dartmouth, 
sergeant, second lieutenant, then 
lieutenant in 1775, marched to the 
alarm of April 19, 1775. 

"Thomas Kempton, colonel Revolu- 
tionary War; was also a master 
mariner in 1767, commanding the 
sloon Dare in 1779, and also the sloop 

"Kempton — Daniel, William, Obed, 
Stephen, served in the Revolutionary 
■war as privates in 1775, and are enu- 
merated among the minute men. 

"Among the effects of William 
Kempton, who died 1787, were the 
following books; Thought on Religion, 
Grace Defendeth, Annotations of the 
Bible and Ship Builders Assistant. 

"Ephraim Kemptcn, who died 1758 
lirid among his effects: One large 
Bible, one small Bible, four books of 
psalms, thirteen old paper books, two 
pewter platters, twelve pewter plates, 
one l.')oking glass. 

"Ephraim Kempton, who died 1802, 
had among his effects: A Bible, a sil- 
\er watch, si.x silver spoons, and a 
pew in the Bedford meeting house. 

"It is fashionable in articles on the 
origin of New England families, to 
ciaim as belonging to them the coat 
of arms of an English family of the 
sume name; it may seem to ambitious 
persons a matter of regret that no 
Kempton ever claimed the heraldic 
rank above a tradesman. 

Keiiiptou Fsiiiiily References. 

Pioneers of Massachusetts. Pope. 
Jjandniarks of Plymouth. Davis. 
History of Duxbury. Winsor. 
History of Scituate. Deane. 
History of Southhampton, L. I. Howell. 

Mr. Charles E. Hurd, Yonkers, N. Y. 
(care of Mrs. M. W. Gaines. Deshon 
Ave.) has much data concerning the 
Kempton family and is glad to hear 
from anyone interested. 

In introducing the second address 
of the evening, President Wood spoke 
as follows: 

"The history of Old Dartmouth is 
almost identical with the history of the 
Quakers in Old Dartmouth. Very 

early in the settlement of this territory 
the inhabitants came under the in- 
fluence of the principles of the Society 
cf Friends. This is partly to be ac- 
counted for by the fact that Rhode 
Island early became the centre for all 
those who were termed dissenters and 
were driven out by the severeness and 
narrowness of the powers at Plymouth 
and at Boston. 

"Most of the Quakers who settled 
w ithin our limits came from the neigh- 
borhood of Portsmouth and Newport, 
Rhode Island. Old Dartmouth lay 
fairly between the two earliest centres 
oi Quakers in this, section. It is a 
memorable fact that in the seventh 
month 1658, exactly 250 years ago, 
John Rouse, a young Quaker, lay in 
jciil in Boston, imprisoned in the bitter 
prosecution which Boston was meting 
out to the apostles of this sect. 

"At that date Jchn Rouse wrote a 
Utter to Margaret Fell, in which he 
recounted the numerous sufferings and 
persecutions which were being expe- 
rienced in this state, and towards the 
close of the letter he stated. 'We 
have two strong places in this land, 
the one in Newport in Rhode Island 
and the other in Sandwich which the 
enemy will never get dominion over.' 
It was only in 1657, one year before 
this letter was written that the first 
meeting of Friemls in the new world 
was instituted in Sandwich. This was 
ten years before Wm. Penn was con- 
verted to Quakerism. 

"Last year in October, the 2 50th 
anniversary of this event was celebrat- 
ed in the old Friends Meeting House 
at Spring Hill in Sandwich. As a part 
<.f the exercises in connection with this 
celebration. Dr. Edw. T. Tucker, a 
member of this society, read an inter- 
ei-ting historical paper. 

"Although the first meeting house 
of the society in Old Dartmouth, that 
at Apponeganset, was not built until 
1699, still there was a monthly meet- 
ing of the society before that date 
which was held in a private house. 
This meeting house at Old Dartmouth 
was an enormous structure which 
was later torn down and built much 
smaller as we now see it, but the 
large house was needed when built in 
1599 for the meeting became one of 
the largest in this country. 

"We must remember at this tiine 

there were living under the govern- 
ment of Plymouth, church and state 
were identical and all our inhabitants 
were being called upon to support 
from general taxation an established 
ministry of the Puritan Congregation- 
al faith within their limits. 

"The failure of the Quakers to do 
this was the cause of many severe ar- 
raignments by the authorities at Ply- 
mouth. This was the time of the 
severest persecution of the Quakers 
in Boston and vicinity, but they ob- 
stinately stood their grounds as de- 
fenders of the principle of the right of 
freedom of worship of religious belief 
and action, according to the dictates 
of their own conscience. 

"It was not until 1708 that a state 
church was successfully founded in 
this neighborhood when the Congrega- 
tional church at Acushnet was estab- 
lished. From this time on the strife 
was continuous between the state 
church, which stood for authoritative 
religion, and the Quakers who con- 
tended for freedom of conscience and 
independence in matters of belief. 

"It is now less than a month since 
the First Congregational church of 
this city has been celebrating the 
200th anniversary of the founding of 
Congregationalism in this locality at 
this first church in Acushnet. The 
several discourses connected with this 
celebration have contributed much 
that will be valuable to us in review- 
ing the religious history of these 
earlier times. The present pastor of 
the church, Mr. Geoghegan, in his 
address made a remarkably clear an- 
alysis of this noteworthy contention. 
Himself a Southerner witli no Puritan 
blood he has seen clearly as from the 
outside this remarkable contention of 
the Quakers of Old Dartmouth against 
all manner of severe persecution to 
save to us the right of freedom of 
worship and Mr. Geoghegan comes out 
clearly with the statement that in this 
contention it must be distinctly re- 
membered that the Quakers won. In 
1729 the general court of Massachu- 
setts passed a law exempting the 
Quakers and Baptists from taxation 
for the support of town churches. 

"From this time the Quakers in 
Dartmouth increased rapidly in num- 
bers, and in influence, and comprised 
a large part of the inlhabitants. 

"Daniel Ricketson in writing the 
history of this period almost apolo- 
gizes for giving such large place to 
his .sect. He says that the history 
of Old Dartmouth i.s, to his mind, so 
suggestive of the faith of the early 
settlers and s(j inseparablv connected 
with it. 


"Their quaint speech, beliavior and the noted Friends of the last century, 
apparel, and their tempered social not only in this neighborhood, but also 
life, created an interesting phase of those in other parts of our common- 
society in the first part of the 19th wealth, 
century. "Miss Mary Eastman Bradford has 

"We have already had two papers prepared a paper on 'Social Life 

read before this society, by Mrs. Mary Among the Friends of Long Ago,' 

Jane Taber, which gave an illuminat- which will be read by George H. 

ing picture. Tripp." 

"Tonight we are to have another Mr. Tripp stated that the duty of 

paper prepared by one of our mem- reading the paper devolved on him, 

bers, whose parents and grandparents owing to Miss Bradford's inability to 

had an intimate acquaintance witli be present. Tlie address follows: 


Social Life Among the Friends ol 
Long Ago 

By Mary Eastman Bradford 

"A little Quaker girl's debut into 
the social life of her sect, was the 
journey to Weare quarterly meeting 
in Weare, New Hampshire, many 
years ago. In the language of friends 
it was held in Tenth month, known to 
those of the world as October. For 
weeks she had packed and repacked a 
small hair trunk, which would hold 
her sedate wardrobe. How she longed 
for the day to come, she counted the 
very hours. The journey was to be 
made by carriages, and half the fun 
was on the long ride, where many 
other Friends joined in the caravan, 
sometimes sixty or seventy vehicles 
being in line. To one who has had the 
rare treat of participating in this de- 
lightful journey, the picture unrolls 
itself, the October landscape of yel- 
low and red, so unlike the Quaker 
drab and brown, the delight of new 
scenes, the ripening of all nature (be- 
fore its final decay), was at its greatest 
beauty. Then the social intercourse 
between P^riends, who onl\' met at 
quarterly, or yearly ineeting, was in 
itself a delight. A stop would be made 
at Lowell and at Nashua, called in 
those daj's taverns, where horses were 
put up and food put down, for be it 
known Quakers of the olden time li\'evl 
well. To the little maiden of Friendly 
training the suppers of fried chicken, 
cold meats, all sorts of sweets, cakes, 
and pies, told to her by her older sis- 
ters, the big dinners of roast chickesi 
and meats of all kinds, puddings, nuts, 
and the autumn fruits, made her idea 
of Weare quarterly meeting one large 
eating. The day came; long before 
sunrise the breakfast was eaten, the 
l^ig roomy carriages, and strong pair 
of horses was driven to the door, the 
packing away of boxes commences, 
numerous parcels, the small hair 
trunk swung under the carriage, the 
famil\- also packed in, and all was 
ready — at last; the long expected mo- 
ment had arrived, and they were off 
The first dinner was eaten in Lowell, 
then on to Nashua for the night, at 
the old 'Indian Head Tavern.' It 
was the first time this dear little 
Quakeress had ever seen lace curtains 
and red, actually red velvet furniture. 
She felt as if her life was too full of 
great experiences. The breakfast over, 

a new start was made on to fresh 
scenes. Then the discussion would be- 
gin between father and mother where 
they would put up for the night, at 
Eliza's or Moses or Enoch's, but one 
house appealed to the younger mem- 
bers, as apples, nuts and new cider 
were always brought out during the 
evening, and it was almost a party. 

"The meetings were what they were 
supposed to attend, and of course all 
the older Friends did, but there was 
that quarterly meeting dinner, after 
the long first meeting; then the seem- 
ingly longer business meeting, and by 
this time real hunger held full swing 
with the younger generation, and the 
'queries and answers,' were sometimes 
lost sight of as visions of the long- 
table full to overflowing appeared. All 
the older people sat down at the first 
table, if there was room the children 
also; if not they had to wait for the 
second table, but there was always 
enough and to spare. So this little 
Quaker girl had her first quarterly 
meeting dinner away from her own 
home. There was the roast chicken for 
dinner, with all sorts of roasts be- 
sides, fried chicken for breakfast, and 
such fried chicken, then all sorts of 
new dishes her sister had never told 
her about. When asked on her return 
home if she had had a good time she 
replied with a sigh of satisfaction, 'oh, 
yes, for we had chicken all the way 

"Into the past have faded the ser- 
mons, and meetings, but the hospital- 
ity, the hearts, and doors thrown wide 
open to receive new faces and old, still 
remain forever in heart and inind. 

"The preparations for quarterly 
meeting were commenced weeks be- 
fore, the families in town or city where 
the meetings were held usually filled 
their homes with visiting Friends, 
and as every room was needed 
the family used to vacate their 
own rooms, sleeping in the un- 
finished attic. In one Quaker home 
long ago, the entire family used to 
vacate their comfortable rooms, and 
depart for the big attic in the ell of 
the house, where temporary rooms 
were partitioned off. The house was 
large, and in the main part could take 
care of thirty people, the big ell held 


.ser\ants rooms ami housekeeper on 
the second floor. 

"These were never disturbed as the 
servant question then, seemed to be 
of tender nature as now. The big 
kitchen with its brick ovens, large set 
ranges, and a big stove did good work, 
pies, cakes, sweets of all kinds, hot 
and cold meats, were sent forth from 
the four walls. One huge kettle could 
cook a dozen pairs of chickens, and all 
this was none too much, as on quarter- 
ly meeting day at dinner, the long 
table which seated thirty was file'l 
twice. Then came the supper at 3 
o'clock, and again the table was loaded 
with old time prodigality, and twice 
thirty were again seated. The young 
grandchildren thought it a great favor 
to help the waitresses serve the guests. 
This Quaker host would remain at the 
ineeting house until nearly all had 
gone to see that every one was asked 
to dine, if any remained, whether he 
knew them or not, he would ask, 
'has thee accepted an invitation to 
dine?' on their replying they had not 
(probably they had been over asked") 
he would quickly say 'my wife has 
provided plenty of dinner and will be 
glad to welcome thee.' Sometimes he 
would have to ask their names that he 
might introduce them to his family. 
Many Friends came for the day from 
near by towns, so only required din- 
ner. This was before the days of cold 
lunches at the meeting houses. Was 
not this true hospitality? John Adam.-? 
has described his entertainment by a 
Quaker hostess of Philadelphia, who 
offered him at one meal, ducks, hams, 
chickens, beef, pig, tarts, creams, cus- 
tards, jellies, fouls, trlffles, floating 
island, beer, porter, punch and wine. 
At another Quaker home he 'drank at 
a great rate and found no incon- 
venience.' Of course this quotation is 
long before the time of which I am 

"It is very hard to write of the so- 
cial life and free it from its strong- 
ally the religious, as the two go seem- 
ingly hand in hand in Quakerdom. 
One very beautiful custom of the old 
days was even in purely social gather- 
ings they often had a little season of 
silence at the close, when some one 
would feel called upon to say a few 
words, or offer prayer. On these oc- 
casions as well as the purely religious. 
a seriousness was most pronounced, 
and while they enjoyed much it was in 
a restrained, and self controlled man- 

"On their faces as they sat on the 
high seats be sermon ever so affect- 
ing, not a face showed emotion. One 
story will illustrate this calmness. A 
little Quaker was taken by his moth- 
er to First day meeting; he had never 

l)een before, so it was witli some fear 
he was allowed to go to a really long 
meeting. Ho sat very still for a long 
time; after a little he began to look 
around; the silence became more and 
more intenso, until he could stand it 
no longer; he could hear himself 
breathe. Then he shouted 'go it,' 'go 
it.' 'go it.' Only his creaking boots 
broke the silence, that awful silence, 
a.s his mother removed him. Not an 
cj elid had lifted, not a muscle moved 
under the Friends's bonnets, or on the 
faces of the sterner sex on the other 

"As one looks back it is hard to 
r. 'member emotions on faces in the 
dear old Friends meeting, but they 
were sometimes most beautiful in their 
calm placidity, and would we could 
see them once more. The 'American 
Friend' of Tenth Month eleventh I 
think of 1906 has a very interesting 
article a "memory of times Gone By.' 
7. quote from it this extract . 'Some- 
times a little coterie of visiting Friends 
would stay a week and have appoint- 
<C meetings in the neighborhood visit- 
ing families and otherwise occupy 
themselves; always coming home for 
supper and breakfast. 

" 'In return for their company and 
prayers, thev shared our best things. 
Some of these things, more especially 
the delicacies of the table were a sur- 
prise to our not over indulged juvenile 
relish. and the children wondered 
where mother had previously stored 
them away. She lias kept all her se- 
crets to this day God bless her. In 
return for the best we had, our guests 
gav^e us their best. How well I re- 
niember it; the Friends in the parlor 
v.hile we girls with increasing dignity 
passed back and forth with china 
fiom the parlor closet. We were not 
so intent upon bringing the cups and 
saucers carefully, as upon the bits of 
conversation that fell upon us. The 
most solemn moments of my life were 
those at lather's table when a holy 
hush fell on the oblong group, for 
the table was an extension, on pur- 
pose for company. 

"The Friend, on whom the burden 
to pray first fell, leaned forward with 
her hand on her face, as if she were 
indeed one of the cherubims leaning 
over the Mercy Seat in Moses's time. 
In reverent and orderly turn each of 
our guests prayed for our parents, 
•the heads of this house,' 'the dear 
children, collectively and individually, 
most of it was individually. It was 
this personal appeal in prayer and ex- 
h< rtation, not forgetting prophecy that 
has so riveted me physically and' men- 
tally to these 'family opportunities.' 
The Reading meetings were another 


social recreation, someone read aloud 
from a Quaker bcok of biography, 
travel, or religion, for instance, 'The 
Life of Elizabeth Frye,' 'The Works of 
Daniel Wheeler m Russia,' who was 
sent for by the czar of that land for 
agricultural education among the 
Russian peasantry. From the works 
of Barclay and of later date the noted 
family of preaching Hoags, the father 
of whom Joseph Hoag, author of 'Jo- 
seph Hoag's Vision,' which he had in 
1S03 — in which he prophecied the Civ- 
il Avar, and many events which seem 
about to be fulfilled Another, Lindley 
Murray Hoag, con of Joseph, had this 
wonderful close to a sermon which 
had held a large audience, 'And when, 
ten thousand times ten thousand years 
shall have passed away, eternity, a 
bounderless, endless eternity will have 
just begun, and Friends, have you 
ever thought this bounderless, endless 
eternity must be si>ent with the saints 
o!' with the devils damned.' 

"Do you wonder the faces were sol- 
emn with such awful pictures before 
their eyes! These reading meetings 
were held in the homes once a week 
or everj- two weeks, and old and 
A'f ung mingled freely together. A 
strong element in the home life was 
the respect shown the old and infirm. 
T(.day this might be a lesson taken in- 
to more than one home in our land. 
No j'oung Friend would think of sitting 
if an elderly person entered the room, 
and all were expected to shake hands 
and say 'how does thee do,' when call- 
ers came. You rem.ember Julia Ward 
Howe in one of her lectures said in all 
her going about she never saw such 
imiversal respect and deference from 
.youth to age as in the Society of 

"While the reading was taking place 
everyone was still, of course, but after 
came the purely social, then old and 
young talked freely, and, strange as 
it may seem among this rather prim 
gaiet.v, there were Quaker flirtations, 
and some found the place in which 
to declare that the little god Cupid 
was busy among the demure maidens 
and the male followers of George Fox. 

"Friends were great lovers and 
writers of poetry, some had the gift 
of repeating for hours not alone po- 
etry but from the Bible. One well 
linown Friend repeated to Tennyson 
in the Quaker artist's studio in Lou- 
den some thirty years ago portions of 
his 'Locksley Hall' and 'In Memoriam,' 
also from our beloved Whittier. She 
had the sing-song of the Quaker which 
jou know Tennyson said was the only 
waj' it should be repeated. 

"Here in our own New Bedford, 
'Old Dartmouth Historical Society,' a 

name arises cf peculiar significance, a 
writer of poetry, prose, a strong phil- 
anthropist, a man of noble aims, whose 
life was spent for others, Daniel Rick- 
etson. The Society of Friends lost one 
of her inost gifted sons when he, with 
others, left the old Quaker hearth 
stone. The question often arises with 
those not conversant with the past his- 
tory of the Friends why a religious 
society with such a wonderful founda- 
tion here in New England should de- 
ctease in membership when elsewhere 
they are increasing, as statistics show. 
The answer is of so delicate a nature 
that one hardlj- dares venture on the 
debatable ground. The old Friends 
meetings were for the members and 
b.> the members. The Friends of the 
later years are ruled by the one man 

"I think the Friends really must 
have had a love foi inusic as well as 
poetry. Some voices for the 'high 
seats' as they grew to forget all but 
tlieir inspired utterance were really 
almost a song, and its impression is 
a tender and sweet memory with us 
today. A dear old Friend, who would 
never allow a note of music to be 
heard in his house, used to take his 
children far from home into the won- 
derful land of nature, a dense for- 
est, where bird and insect sang their 
glorious song to the Creator. Here, 
out in freedom, each child would feel 
at liberty, for father always sat down 
on a big bowlder that the woods 
were filled with, take his broad brim- 
med hat off, hold it betwen his knees 
and say, "Children, you may sing your 
songs now as free as the birds,' and 
sing those children did. The dear 
Quaker mother, who had a beautiful 
\oice, would join in, simply humming 
the tune The sweet soul didn't dare 
to do more. 

Newport Yearly Meeting. 

"Back from the past comes the date 
of that wonderful time to the old and 
young of Quakerdom, held on the first 
Seventh day after the second Sixth in 
Sixth month continuing for a week. 
From all parts of New England, New 
York, Philadelphia and Baltimore, and 
the then far west came the elders and 
'the precious youth.' The old Truro 
and Fillimore houses, then of later 
date the Atlantic and Ocean houses 
held this large number of attendants 
at the meetings. The older Friends 
solemnly and calmly attended the re- 
ligious and business meetings, but alas, 
some of those 'precious youth' were 
found wandering by sea and show, and 
many matches were made 'for better, 
for worse' which were consummated 
1)\ that beatitiful, yet solemn Quaker 


ceremony of marriage which is famil- 
iar to some of us today. 

"Near Newport is the famous old 
Friends school at Providence, known 
over our land with alumnae scattered 
far and wide, now it has lost its old 
Quaker individuality in a new name 
•the Moses Brown school.' Many men 
in after life distinguished look back 
with loyal and true hearts to their 
Quaker alma mater. The strong and 
lugh ideals were developed there 
which made them what they were. 
AVith the long line of principals of the 
old Friends school come names and 
faces that bring back memories some 
pleasant, others not. The highest de- 
velopment in the school's life which 
was to prepare the Quaker boys and 
girls for social and religious life was 
under that colossal man in mind and 
body Augustine Jones, himself an au- 
thor. In his long principalship of 
twenty-five years pictures and pianos 
were allowed where not thirty years 
V)efore no sound of music was heard 
and the walls severely white or drab. 
His wonderful power of making 
friends among those noted in litera- 
ture, art and travel brought to the 
school men who met the scholars in a 
social way, thus adding much to their 
outlook on life. With his departure 
went also the old name. So Augustine 
Jones was the last principal of old 
Friends school of blessed memory. 

"These quiet Friends with the seem- 
ingly plain dress really showed much 
time and money, if they were costum- 
ed in the real English fashion. Eliz- 
abeth Frye was aoted for her beauty 
of dress, and we who are fortunate to 
own miniatures of her prize them be- 
yond words. The silk shawls, long or 
short, of white, brown or gray were 
very expensive. The bonnets here in 
America were made by Friend Hol- 
lingsworth of Philadelphia, who was, 
may I say it, very fashionable in Qua- 
kerdom. The muslin caps were never 
laundered, if worn by those who could 
afford to always wear new ones, as a 
cap was never so exquisite after 'being 
done up.' An old Friend as she pon- 
dered one day over her muslin caps 
and handkerchiefs, grew troubled as 
she feared her cap-maker would die 
before a fresh supply was obtained. 
Sc her daug'nter was requested to see 
how many she then had for present 
use. With twinkling eyes she inform- 
ed the anxious mother of eighty-five 
years that eighty caps were in her 

"Some idea may be had of the old 
time Friend's extreme conscientious- 
ness. Members of the society of today 
may not know that their trust in the 
Divine power for good or ill was in- 

tense. For instance, if the Lord sent 
rain one should accept it without a 
murmur, or one had occasion to ven- 
ture out of doors, no shelter from an 
umbrella should be used. A story is 
told of a member of the Salem month- 
ly meeting who had a brother of 
rather a worldly turn of mind, a very 
naughty Quaker youth. On his return 
from Europe he brought his fair little 
sister a beautiful green silk umbrella 
with an exquisitely carved ivory 
handle. She, delighted to carry it, look- 
ed longingly for rain, not being really 
old enough to have severe convictions 
on the subject of green umbrellas. 
After she had had the intense joy of 
using it once, a comittee was sent 
from the meeting to visit her. The 
Friends sat in silence almost as solemn 
as a real funeral. Then each spoke his 
or her warning to this wayward child 
One dear old Friend, who felt all she 
said, spoke in this way, "Martha, if 
thou was't dying how vvould'st thou 
like to have this green umbrella held 
over thy head?' 'I don't know how,' 
Martha answered, but that awful 
vision was too much for her youthful 
mind, and that green umbrella never 
saw light of day. This really is no ex- 
aggeration of the olden time ideas on 
the subject or adornment. One idea 
of religious belief which had a strong- 
place in life was their views on in- 
surance. They did not thing it right, 
on the ground that it was taking out 
of God's hands a power which mortal 
man should not usurp. If God saw 
right In' his dispensation to send fire, 
destroying homes or property, why ac- 
cept it with resignation, and they did 
so accept it. Life insurance was the 
same, one's life was in God's hands; 
if one died poor, he must 'leave it all 
in a Higher power,' trusting his loved 
ones should be taken care of, and they 
were in those days. The equality be- 
tween the rich and poor, the care of 
those dependant upon the society was 
most tender and unostentatious, so 
that never a Friend was allowed to go 
to any public institution for support; 
this all done so quietly that no one 
knew who was assisted except the 
committee. This applies to the past. 
One of the 'Queries' read three months 
ago was 'Are the circumstances of the 
poor and of such as appear likely to 
need asistance duly inspected and their 
necessities relieved; are they assisted 
in obtaining suitable employment; and 
is proper care taken to educate their 

'The greatest oversight w'as given 
the Quaker youth in education and 
hoine training. Friends were most care- 
ful who their children asociated with, 
usually keeping them within their own 
society, and they always attended 


Friends schools. Co-education was 
very early introduced and proved most 
successful. Quaker colleges now extend 
all over our own land and are of high 

'" 'Social Life' depends on its loca- 
tion. Western and eastern life is as 
varied as its climate. Quakerism ex- 
tends from Alaska to Florida, Cali- 
fornia to Maine. Of course its social 
life partakes of its environinent. 
Sweeden and Norway claim their 
Quakers, England and Ireland, be- 
sides far off Palestine where at 
Ramalla near Jerusalem is one of the 
finest foreign mision posts founded 
by Eli and Sybel Jones. The society of 
Friends has borne and is bearing the 
burdens of the world's advancement. 

The changes have come to the society 
in which many of the very beautiful 
customs are being forgotten, but to us 
of Quaker birth-right their inspira- 
tion is strong as life itself, and proud 
are we of their memory, though wn 
may have left the old home of our 
Quaker ancestors. 

"No longer do we hear of the old 
time Quaker hospitality that belongs 
to bye-gone years; only memory keeps 
us in touch with that period. So good- 
bye to the dear old life, gone with its 
plain bonnet, muslin kerchief and 
cap; lay thein all away in the old 
chest of the dim past, but lift the lid 
once in a while that the meinories of 
so many tender experiences may bless 
our hearts today. 



Head of Westport and Its Founders 

By Henry Barnard Worth 

At 3 o'clock a very interesting- his- 
torical address was given by Henry B. 
Worth of New Bedford, his subject be- 
ing "The Head of Westport and Its 
Founders." Mr. Worth spoke as fol- 

Before Dartmouth was a town the 
western section was called Coaksett. 
For their protection and defense the settlers selected their farms 
in the southern portion near Horse 
Neck and the Point, so that in case of 
an uprising: of the Indians they could 
escape to the bay, where the red men 
could not follow. During the King 
Philip war two important results oc- 
curred. In the first place a large num- 
ber of Dartmouth Indians surren- 
dered, were removed and sold into 
slavery in foreign lands. Those that 
remained were so effectively subdued 
that they never after manifested any 
war-like tendencies. As soon, there- 
fore as the struggle had ended the in- 
habitants began to occupy the regions 
further north. During this period 
Acushnet, Smith Mills, the Head of 
Westport and other places similarly 
situated and remote from the bay were 
settled by the English. 

While the lands on the Noquochoke 
river were well suited to agriculture, 
the principal natural advantage was 
the water power about a third of a 
mile to the north. This attracted en- 
terprising men from other parts of 
the town. The region was well cov- 
ered by paths selected and used by the 
Indians, and later adopted by the Eng- 
lish settlers as the location for their 
roadways. The great east and west 
thoroughfare crossing the present 
bridge was one section of the system 
that joined Plymouth and Cape Cod 
to Newport, and in the early days was 
frequently designated as "the Rhode 
Island way." At the junction of the 
roads at Lawtons Corner, near the 
west line of the town, stands an an- 
cient guide-stone on which are two 

To Howland's Ferry. 
To the Point. 
It suggests the period two centuries 
ago when travellers from Barnstable. 
Rochester and Dartmouth passed 
along this way to the place now called 
Stone Bridge where the ferry trans- 
ferred them to the north end of ths 
island of Rhode Island. The other 
inscription pointed the wayfarer from 
the west to the road to Westport 

Point. This road became the great 
cross-country highway, famous and 
important in the days of the stage- 
coach. On each side of the river, fol- 
lowing the lines of ancient paths, 
were other town roads, which starting 
in the wooded regions to the north ex- 
tended to the Necks that projected 
into Buzzards Bay. 

Before the King Philip war it would 
have been venturesome to think of 
settling eight miles from the seashore, 
and so far as known only one made 
the attempt. If the information fur- 
nished by the records is complete, the 
first man to locate at the head of the 
Noquochoke river was Richard Sisson, 
and he was bold and hardy enough to 
locate his home, as early as 16 71^. on 
the we-st side of the river, and on the 
south side of the main highway, for 
in that year he was elected surveyor 
of the town roads. He is next men- 
tioned in 16S1 in a suggestive record. 
The question arose as to the proper 
notice to be given to the inhabitants-- 
of the town meetings, and it was voted 
that a notice should be posted in three 
places, "at William Spooner's; at the 
mills and at Richard Sisson's." It 
is now known that William Spooner 
was located at the head of the Acush- 
net river. The second place, at a 
later date, was designated as Smith 
Mills, and the third must have been 
at the Head of Westport at Sisson's 
place, probably just west of the land- 
ing, and near both the road and river. 

At an uncertain date, ten or fifteen 
years later, Samuel Mott purchased a 
farm on the east side of the river 
about a third of a mile south of the 
main road, which in 1709 he conveyed 
to Nicholas Howland. There is no in- 
dication that before this transfer there 
were any other families located in this 

It was in 1712 that three enterpris- 
ing men formed a combination to util- 
ize the water power north of the pres- 
ent village, and naturally one was a 
i-niller. A few years previous George 
Lawton moved from Portsmouth and 
acquired a large farm at Lawtons 
Corner, the most of which has re- 
mained in his family ever since, and 
is now owned by a George Lawton of 
Fall River. He had both means and 
experience, having learned before he 
came to Dartmouth how to conduct a 
mill. But no man was allowed to se- 
cure to himself, alone, any such valu- 
able public utility. It was necessary 


that it should be shared by several. 
In the old house with a stone chim- 
ney north of Central Village, owned by 
Perry G. Potter, lived a carpenter 
named Benjamin Waite, who after- 
ward built the house on the west side 
of the main road, owned in recent 
years by Mrs. Joseph T. Lawton. 

Northeast of the Potter farm, be- 
tween the Drift road and the river, 
and near the brook, is an ancient 
house, recently repaired, with an over- 
hang gable. It was probably built by 
John Tripp, who owned this farm in 
1720, and the same has later been 
owned by the Waite family and Thom- 
as Preece. 

Lawton, Waite and Tripp formed 
the association. When the entire 
program had been arranged by vote 
of the Proprietors of Dartmouth, 
which was very much like a town 
meeting, tlie different owners had re- 
ceived layouts according to their 
ownership, of undivided lands. 

Beginning at the landing on the 
west side of the river the Sisson farin, 
then owned by Jaines, extended west 
to the Central Village road and along 
the river over half a mile south to 
the property owned in modern times 
by Abner Kirby. On the east side of 
the river, east ^roin the landinjr. was 
a small tract set off to Robert Gifford 
which extended to the Pine Hill road; 
next south Mary Hix iiad a strip of 
twenty acres; she was at that time 
proprietor of Hix Ferry which was 
conducted by her and Iier sons until 
in 1745 her son William built the Hix 
bridge. She must have been an ener- 
getic woman, and seems to have been 
determined to locate where there was 
business. She never lived at the 
Head of Westport. but a short time 
later disposed of the property. It in- 
cluded the farm, which in 189 5 was 
owned by William R. Brightman. 
Next south was the Samuel Mott farm, 
then owned by Nicholas Howland. 
To the eastward, bordering on the 
road which has since become the 
division line between Westport and 
Dartmouth, was the extensive farm of 
Joseph Peckham. The northeast cor- 
ner of this tract was at one time 
owned by Paul Cuff, a slave owned in 
the Slocuin family, who received his 
freedom about 1765. 

The Giffords were land kings of 
Coaksett, and in all land allotments 
demanded a satisfactory share. In 
the 1712 apportionment at the Head 
of Westport they received nearly four 
hundred acres. One tract lay on the 
north side of the main road, and ex- 
tended north to the Forge road corner 
and from the river eastward over half 
a mile to the brook. Between this 
section and the present Dartmouth 

line were several small tracts, set off 
to various persons, and at one time 
owned by Jonathan Mosher. and th.^ 
same now comprised in the farm 
owned by Joseph Smeaton. 

Then they laid out a public land- 
ing on both sides of the river at the 
main road. 

In the vicinity of the Forge Road 
corner was the water privilege sought 
by Lawton, Waite and Tripp, and this 
they secured with seventy acres of 
land in the vicinity, along the river. 

On tho north side of the main high- 
way, and on the west side of the river, 
is the Beulah road; west of this Law- 
ton and Waite received a tract which 
extended west to include the lot where 
fifty years ago stood the Friends' 
meeting-house. Next west the Gif- 
fords received seventy acres more, and 
this was later transferred to Stephen 
Packham and in modern times, wholly 
or in part, owned by Giles E. Brown- 
ell. Next west was the farm of Be- 
riah Goddard, a man of considerable 
prominence in Dartmouth in the days 
when there were only a few scattered 
houses in this region. The farm was 
owned in the Davis family for several 
generations, and comprised the places 
now or lately owned by Richard S. 
Tripp and George L. Cornell. Still 
further west, as far as the brook, was 
a farm set off to John Sowle and now 
owned by Philip T. Sherman. At the 
corner was the homestead of Zoeth 
Howland and later of his son Philip, 
and in recent times owned and occu- 
pned by George H. Gifford, trial jus- 
tice and country squire for whom thj 
corner has been named. 

Such were the layouts around the 
Head of the River. The Giffords lived 
near Horse Neck and Westport Point, 
and were not concerned in the early 
development of this section. Before 
the Revolution they had transferred 
all their tracts to other parties. Some 
of their descendants later become 
prominent in the affairs of this village, 
but they did not receive by inheritance 
any of the original layouts. 

As soon as Lawton, Waite and Tripp 
secured the water privilege they built 
two mills. That on the west side of 
the river was known for a cen':ury 
later as "Lawton's Mill," and was 
owned in recent times by Benjamin 
Cummings, Thomas J. Allen, A. T. Sis- 
son and C. E. Brightman. 

George Lawton died in 1727, leaving 
an estate large for those days, and in- 
cluded in his property was a Negro 
man valued at forty pound..-.. Among 
his effects was a gun. In the house at 
Lawton's corner is a Queen Anne mus- 
ket of great length, on the stock of 
which are cut ihe initials "G. L." If 
the tradition is trustworthy this gun 


belonged to the first George L.awton, 
ana may have been used by him at 
his mill on the Noquochoke river. 

On the cast side of the river the 
partners built what was called 
"Waite's Mill," which was located a 
third of a mile east of the Forge road 
corner. Later it was known as Tripp's 
or Chase's Mill, names derived from 
subsequent owners. 

During the years before the close 
of the Revolutionary war there was 
very little increase in the wealth or 
population of this locality. The mil- 
lers sawed the logs and ground the 
grain that was brought to them by 
the neighboring inhabitants, and there 
was no business from outside locali- 
ties demanding the attention of the 
Wf^stport mills. The farms as origin- 
ally laid out remained undivided, and 
the principal activity of the locality 
consisted of people passing to and 
from the mills. 

Soon after the Revolution a decided 
change ensued ; ten miles away New 
Bedford was starting on a prosperous 
maritime career; ships were being 
built and iron and wood were in de- 
mand. This was the opportunity. In 
1789 William Gifford and Lemuel 
Milk purchased the site now occupied 
by the lower Westport mill, for the 
purpose of building a forge. Most of 
the early iron mills in New 
England were established by 

some member of the Leonard 
family of Lyi\n and Taunton. In 
this case Gifford and Milk secured 
the services of Joslah Leonard, and 
gave him one third share in the forge. 
After operating this industry a few 
years, another important change took 
place, due to the removal from Nan- 
tucket to New Bedford of the Rotch 
and Rodman families. It was their 
policy to control every line connected 
with the whaling business The mer- 
chant not only superintended the 
business of the ship, hired and paid 
the crew, sold the oil, and distributed 
the proceeds, but he had a saw-mill in 
some forest to prepare timber, and an 
iron factory to make anchors, chains, 
and other appliances; a factory to 
manufacture cordage and another to 
make sail cloth. Also a refinery to 
change oil into candles, and frequent- 
ly large inland farms where he could 
prepare meat and other food supplies. 
In fact the success of New Bedford 
merchants grew out of the system by 
which they started with the original 
materia] and prepared and constructed 
them into vessels, controlling every line 
of business concerned in the fitting of 
the ships, and at the end of the voy- 
age prepared the product for the con- 
sumer. In this way they secured to 
themselves every profit, and no won- 

der they became millionaires. In pur- 
suance of this poliey, in 1795 William 
Rotch, Jr., purchased all the mill 
property once known as "Waite's and 
Tripp's Mill," including twenty acreb 
of land, a grist mill, saw mill, forge, 
utensils, coal house, store house, 
blacksmith shop, and a dwelling 
house; at an entire cost of three 
thousand dollars. Mr. Rotch operated 
these mills for half a century. Soon 
after the purchase he built the house 
on the west side of the road at the 
corner south of the lower mill. This 
property afterwards passed into the 
hands of Anthony Gifford, and the old 
Forge became a hoe Factory. In 
1854, and subsequently, the property 
was purchased by William B. Trafford, 
who transferred it to the Westport 
Manufacturing company. And in re- 
cent years the spot where the old 
forge stood has been occupied by the 
lower stone mill. It is well to keep 
in mind that much of the material 
used in constructing those ships that 
a century ago were adding to the 
fortunes of New Bedford merchants, 
largely came from those little mills at 
the junction of the Forge road and 
the Noquochoke river. 

It was in those days that the village 
at the Head increased in size; the mills 
were working not only for Westport 
people, but for the centre of the whal- 
ing business of the world. A com- 
munity must result with a ineeting- 
house, school, store, tavern and dwell- 
ings. During the half century of own- 
ership of the Westport mills by Wil- 
liam Rotch the Head of the River was 
established and reached its height. 

The slow growth of the village may 
be illustrated by the manner in which 
the meeting-house was managed. 
Coaksett was strongly Quaker and has 
held tenaciously to that form of belief 
even to modern times. They had a 
meeting-house 70 years before New 
Bedford at Central Village. In 1761 
there was a demand for a place of 
worship in the north part of the town, 
so a building was erected at George H. 
Gifford's corner, and called "The 
Centre meeting-house," which was 
maintained until 1840, when it was 
removed to the north side of the road 
about a quarter of a mile west of the 
bridge. This was discontinued about 
30 years ago. 

Just what happened in 1840 to in- 
duce the Friends to move their meet- 
ing-house nearer the village may be 
inferred from some hints to be found 
in the records. In 183 George M. 
Brownell purchased from Dr. J. IT. 
Handy a lot of land which in 1845 was 
conveyed by John O. Brownell to the 
First Christian Baptist society. There 
had then been a meeting-house on this 


lot, which, in 1S59 is de- 

scribed as "The old meeting- 
house." There is some reason to in- 
fer that it may have been built soon 
after 1830. Evidently the Quakers 
felt that it was necessary to have a 
meeting-house nearer the dwellings of 
their members or they might attend 
the other meeting. 

In 1856 Isaac Howland sold to tho 
Pacific Union church the lot where 
their meeting-house stands, and at the 
present time the village has two 

It would be interesting to know how 
the inhabitants arranged their school 
affairs, but there is an exasperating 
absence of record relating to this sub- 
ject. Land was cheap, and the own- 
ers donated lots verbally, without de- 
livery of deeds, and when the school- 
houses were discontinued there was no 
necessity for a conveyance from the 
town. The same was true when the 
district system prevailed, and previous 
to 1840 it is not possible to find the 
record of any purchase of land for 
school purposes in Westport. Thus 
the schoolhouse east of the village on 
Wolf Pit Hill, now ujed as a library, 
was in existence in 1848 and belonged 
to District 19, but the records of the 
district cannot be found and no deed 
has ever been recorded. On the other 
side of tlie river west of the Landing, 
the lot for the school was purchased by 
District No. 14, from Abner B. Gifford, 
in 1841. 

In every New England community 
the village store was an important in- 
stitution. It is not possible to de- 
termine how early one was established 
at the Head of Westport. When John 
Avery Parker located in New Bedford 
he engaged in the grocery business, 
and when in Westport in 1801, he may 
have engaged in the same line. The 
first certain record is that Isaac How- 
land, in 1801, purchased a lot east of 
the bridge and built a store building, 
and the successive owners of the 
same have been Adam Gifford, Jona- 
than Peckham Gifford, John L. An- 
thony and Joseph M. Shorrock. 

In the days when liquor selling was 
respectable and dealers sold respect- 
able liquor, the tavern and inn were 
necessary and reputable institutions. 
James Sisson and his son Richard 
from 1725 to 1730 had licenses, and 
may have had a country store. For 
years after there was no license 
granted to any local resident, a cer- 
tain indication that there were not in 
the place a sufficient number of peo- 
ple to support that trade. At the time 
that the forge was started, Lemuel 
Milk had a license to keep an inn. In 
1801, John Avery Parker had a license 
for some building west of the Landing, 

and near the river. Parker sold his 
property to Isaac Howland who for 
a number of yers continued to keep 
an inn, and probably built the house 
which stands on the south side of 
the road , next west of the Landing. 
Adam Gifford owned the store on the 
east side of the bridge, and occupied 
a house further east where he had a 
license for an inn. The house now 
occupied by Dr. J. B. Parris was 
built in 1828 by Eliphalet Tripp, and 
when he sold the saine he called it 
"my tavern stand." It was later 
owned by A. B. Gifford and Charles 
Dana, and was used by some of its 
occupants for the same purpose. 
When the stage coach yielded to the 
railroad the village tavern disap- 

In the immediate neighborhood of 
the village there was only one house 
built before the Revolution; in fact 
when the Center meeting house was 
built at Gifford's corner, there was no 
village at the Head. On the road to 
Westport Factory, opposite the ceme- 
tary, is a gambrel roofed house built 
by Benjamon Mosher, about 1760, 
and owned in recent years by Brad- 
ford Coggeshall. With this exception 
all the houses in the vicinity of the 
bridge were built after the date when 
William Rotch bought the mills near 
the F'orge pond; but within a radius 
of a mile from the bridge are several 
dwellings that have an interesting 

The Zoeth Howland house at Gif- 
ford's corner was built between 17 20 
and 1730 and later owned by Philip 
Howland and Squire George H. Gif- 
ford. It is the last house in Westport 
having the long north roof of the 
early Colonial type. 

On the farm next east is the dwell- 
ing of Philip T. Sherman, the west end 
of which having a gambrel roof, was 
built in 174 by Ann West, a single 
woman and seamstress. Apparently it 
cost her over two hundred pounds. 
She was one of those important 
artisans of that period who spent days 
and weeks in the homes of well-to-do 
families performing the duties of 
dressmaker and tailor. Personally 
she must ha\e been successful to build 
such a fashionable house, which was 
a sure index of affluence. It was 
later owned by William and Jonathan 
Devoll, John W. Gifford and Lydia 
T. Earle. 

Another house of the same type so 
popular in this section is east of the 
village near the town line, on the 
north side of the main road, and is 
owned by Joseph Smeaton. It was 
built in 1742 by Jonathan Mosher, and 
was owned and occupied later by Ben- 
jamin Gifford and his son Stephen. 


Between this house and the village, 
at the head of Pine Hill road, is the 
house built by Charles Baker for him- 
self in 1792, when he was only eigh- 
teen years of age, and is still owned 
by his descendants. It is one-story 
center-chimney dwelling, of a style 
that became a great favorite through- 
out Westport shortly before and after 

East of the Landing and at the foot 
of the road from Westport Factory, 
is the substantial dwelling built about 
ISIS by Thomas Winslow. In recent 
years it has been owned by C. E. 

East of the Shorroek store is a house 
built before 1830 and occupied at one 
time by Abner B. Gifford and his son 
Jonathan Peckham Gifford. A. B. 
(Jifford died in 184 7^ having been one 
of the most prominent men in the 
community. His wife's father was 
Jonathan Peckham, a wealthy man, 
and this placed the son-in-law in high 
socia'l and business relations in the 
village. He was justice of the peace, 
trial justice and thansacted much of 
the local x^robate business of his day. 
In these legal functions he was suc- 
ceeded by George H. Gifford. 

West of the bridge, on the south 
side of the rooad, is a large house 
built by Isaac Howland soon after 
1801, and probably occupied as his 
inn. It was later owned by Stephen 
Howland, Henry B. Gifford, Rufus W. 
Brightman, George F. Lawton, and 
R. D. Wicks. 

A house that always attracts at- 
tention is the stone mansion on the 
west side of the river and immedi- 
ately south of the Landing, with its 
unusual stone fence. It was built by 
Humphrey Howland about 1830, ac- 
cording to tradition, at a cost of 
$11,000, and the material came from 
a large boulder on the farm a quarter 
of a mile to the southwest. Howland's 
widow, Rhoda, gave it to her nephew, 
Charles H. Hathaway who in 1848 
sold it for $2,500. It has since been 
owned by Nathan C. Brownell, Cap- 
tain Michael Comisky, and Albert C. 

In this hasty sketch of the village 
at the Head of Westport, the aim 
has been to present only the salient 
features of its development. Starting 
in an attempt to develop the local 
water power, it lay dormant for nearly 
a century, and then shared in the 
great prosperity of New Bedford and 
reached its height at the date of the 
advent of the steam engine and rail- 
road. Since that time its growth has 
been interrupted, the mills to the 
north have developed independent 
villages which exert very little in- 
fluence on the affairs at the Head, and 
in the future it must rely, as in the 
beginning, upon its natural resources. 
Its water power has ceased to at- 
tract business, but there still re- 
mains unimpaired, the peculiar 
charms of location and environment, 
and in coming time, as at present, 
the Head of Westport will be known 
as a village of delightful homes. 

"We have no title-deeds to house or lands; 
Owners and occupants of earlier dates 
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands 
And hold in mortmain still their old estates." 




No. 22. 

Being the proceedings of the Twenty-first Meeting of the Old Dartmouth 
Historical Society, held in their building, Water Street, New Bedford, 
Massachusetts, on September 29, 1908. 


By Rebecca Williams Hawes 

[Note. — The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the 
society quarterly, and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 

%dL u^ 




Old Dartmoth Historical Society 




SEPTEMBER 29, I908. 

At the 21st regular meeting of the 
Old Dartmouth Historical society 
the feature was the reading of 
a paper on "John Hawes." The pa- 
per was written by Miss Rebecca Wil- 
liams Hawes, a grand-daughter of 
John Hawes, and was read by Mi^s 
Mary Hawes, his great-granddaughter, 
who is a cousin of Miss Rebecca 

There was a large attendance, whjn 
President Edmund Wood called the 
meeting to order. 

President Wood touched briefly upon 
the two distinct branches of the soci- 
ety's work, the collection of objects 
of interest especially connected with 
the history of this locality; and the 
historical research. Of this first de- 
partment, President Wood said the so- 
ciety was to be congratulated on hav- 
ing accumulated so extensi- e a mu- 
seum collection in so short a time. He 
alluded to the reputation which it had 

given New Bedford, and said that a 
visit to the rooms was a most proper 
pilgrimage for former residents to 
make while visitng this locality in the 

With the approach of winter, the 
president said, the other department — 
that of historical research, was again 
coming to the fore, in the preparation, 
by members, of papers on the history 
of the past and the men and women 
connected with that past. The speak- 
er said that the taking up of this work 
did not mean that the efforts of the 
museum section were to cease, as a 
^■ery interesting program for the 
winter was being laid out. He con- 
cluded by expressing the hope that the 
owners of many valuable objects of 
historical nature would realize the ap- 
propriateness of the society rooms as 
a dwelling place for these 

President Wood then Introduced 
Miss HaweSj who read the following 

John Hawes 

By His Grandaughter, Rebecca Williams Hawes. 

In his family Bible, now belong- 
ing to his great grandson and name- 
sake, we read that John Hawes was 
the second son of Shubael Hawes, a 
captain in the Second Bristol County 
Regiment of Massachusetts in the 
Revolutionary army, who died in 
1781, in his 43d year, and Elnathan, 
his wife, daughter of Robert Wright- 
ington, also a Revolutionary soldier. 
She died in 1779 in her 40th year. 

Nothing further was known of his 
ancestry until, within a few years, 
through the zeal and perseverance of 
his oldest grandson, a full record 
has been obtained, beginning with 
the pilgrim Edmund Hawes, who 
sailed from Southampton, England, 
in the ship James, April 6, 1633. He 
settled in Duxbury, Mass., and later 
removed to Yarmouth. In the Yar- 
mouth records he is set down as 
"late of London." He served in 
Yarmouth as deputy of the court Ifi 
years, selectman 23 years, town clerk 
2 5 years, and as assessor and chair- 
man of land committee for short 
terms. The record further says: 
"He survived all the first settlers of 
Yarmouth and died June 9, 1693, 
about 80 years old. He was a man 
of education and good parts, and was 
a leading man in the town and 

His grandson, Hon. Benjamin 
Hawes, born in Yarmouth, 1662, re- 
moved to Edgartown, Marthas Vine- 
yard, about 1700, and married there. 
Their son, Samuel Hawes, born in 
Edgartown in 1717, moved to Dart- 
mouth, where he married, in 1736, 
Elizabeth, daughter of Lettice Jenne, 
of the Plymouth Colony settlers. He 
was the first of the name to estab- 
lish a homestead in Dartmouth. He 
bought several acres of land, in- 
herited by his wife's family, from 
John Ward, who owned 1000 acres 
in the northwestern part of the town- 
ship, now Acushnet. This land was 
situated about half a mile north of 
Lund's corner, on the west side of 
the road leading from East Free- 
town. Here he built a house, after- 
ward owned and occupied by his son 

Shubael Hawes, who died there in 
1781, leaving the estate to five chil- 
dren, his wife having died two years 
before. In this house John Hawes 
was born. One room of the part 
originally built by his grandfather, 
Samuel, still remains, but is entirely 
built over by the house now stand- 
ing on the original site. Shubael 
Hawes was a devoted father to his 
motherless children, and his son John 
always spoke of him with respect 
and affection. 

Beyond the personal recollections of 
his widow, who survived him 35 years, 
we have no account of the early life of 
John, who was 13 years old at the 
time of his father's death. It was my 
privilege to be much with her in my 
childhood, and I never tired of hear- 
ing stories of the Revolutionary days 
and of my grandfather's early life. 
These last she repeated again and 
again, the last time on her 90th birth- 
day, when she added "You must re- 
member this for them all." Now, at 
"three score and ten" I have endeav- 
ored to recall as many as possible, and 
there is no one living to help me. 

Shubael Hawes was a shipbuilder 
by trade, and had charge of the yard 
where many ships were built for the 
Russells and Rotches. His son often 
spoke of going to the yard at noon- 
time, and sitting on the timbers while 
the father told him stories of the sea, 
and counselled him to learn all he 
could from his teachers and be a good 
boy, adding, "Perhaps you will live to 
command some of these ships I have 
built," — a prophecy that was after- 
wards fulfilled. 

At his death in 1781, John was giv- 
en into the guardianship of an nncle 
who was about to emigrate to Sara- 
toga county, N. Y., then a wilderness, 
who carried the boy with him. Of 
his life there he rarely spoke,, but it 
was very evident that it was one of 
hardship and much unjust treatment, 
and that the boy, who later became 
the stern foe of injustice, found the 
situation unbearable on that account, 
and not because of physical trials. He 
was evidently a thoughtful, intelli- 

gent boy, and it was one of his great- 
est troubles that he was allowed no 
"schooling." When he was 15 years 
old, without money, he left his uncle's 
house at night, in midwinter, and 
walked and worked his way, "some- 
times with bleeding feet," he said — 
back to Acushnet. On his arrival 
there he received a scant welcome. His 
sisters were married and gone, and 
his two uncles either could not, or 
would not, help him. In a letter to 
his oldest son written 20 years after, 
he says: "My greatest anxiety in life 
is for my children, having myself ex- 
perienced the want of parents in my 
youth. I often reflect on the suffer- 
ings I endured; even those who pro- 
fessed the greatest friendship for my 
father when living, when he was dead 
they would hardly let me come into 
the house. However I have since both 
fed, and clothed, and educated some 
of their children." 

The homeless orphan then took to 
the water, and at 19 years old, during 
the last years of the Revolutionary 
war, was master and part owner of 
a small coasting vessel, which car- 
ried supplies for the American army 
into Long Island sound, where it was 
once captured by a British frigate, 
and its crew held prisoners for a short 
time. The details of these experiences 
have faded from my childish memory, 
and I find no other record of them. 
During these years he made every pos- 
sible effort to educate himself, study- 
ing and writing, and copying at night 
in his cabin, and receiving instruc- 
tion, when on shore, froin everyone 
who could teach him anything. 

"When he became of age in 1789, 
his father's estate was settled, and 
he not only claimed his part, but 
bought out the other shares for which 
I find receipts dated 1793. In 1792, 
when 24 years old, he married Marcy, 
daughter of Stephen Taber of New 
Bedford. I find bills of this date, and 
again 1797, for 'repairs and painting 
of my house,' the one where he was 
born, built by his grandfather. They 
probably went to housekeeping irn- 
mediately, and the family Bible 
records the birth of two sons and a 
daughter in the next ten years. 

"His wife dying in 1803, he mar- 
ried in 1804, Mary Tallman Willis, 
daughter of William Tallman. To 
them were Lorn four children, one dy- 
ing in infancy, and the home became 
an ideal one for the seven children, 
who realized no distinctions of blood 
in the faithful care of both parents. 
As long as they lived, they recalled 
gratefully the incidents of their life 
together there. 

"After his second marriage, he grad- 
ually gave up a seafaring life, and for 
the next twenty years lived in Acush- 
net — excepting two years in New Bed- 

ford, 1815-17 — fulfilling all the high- 
est duties of a father, citizen and pa- 
triot. We do not find the date of his 
first appointment as justice of the 
peace, but it was probably about that 
time that his old title of Captain 
Hawes was changed to 'Squire Hawes.' 
In this capacity he became one of the 
leading men in the community. It 
was a post for which he was eminent- 
ly fitted. Everything shows that he 
had a judicial mind, and that a stern 
sense of justice ruled every action. 
His widow said of him at this time, 
"For years and years, every one, both 
in the church and out of it, came to 
Squire Hawes for advice and help. 
They brought him all their affairs, 
from fights over their fences to the 
settling of their estates, and he was 
like the good Samaritan, he never 
■passed them by,' but was patient and 
helpful, even with unworthy." His of- 
fice, as justice, was in his own home, 
a home that was the centre of innum- 
erable interests for nearly 30 years. 
He often brought from his office 
amusing stories of the people who 
consulted him there, and the children 
always responded eagerly when their 
elders were summoned to the parlor 
as witnesses to a marriage ceremony. 
From the list of these it would seem 
that he "joined in the bonds of matri- 
mony,' as the record phrases it, more 
people than did the ordained ministers 
around him. He had many firm 
friends among the Quakers, whose 
children when marrying out of meet- 
ing and not wishing to employ a hire- 
ling for the service, generally came to 
his home instead, and he officiated of- 
ten in the homes of his friends and 
relatives. Many of these certificates, 
some of them 100 years old, have been 
returned to the descendants of the 
parties. His reverent and impres- 
sive manner at such times was al- 
ways remembered by those most in- 
terested. His was a home of bound- 
less hospitality, and for many years, 
both before and after the founding of 
the Methodist church, was the head- 
quarters of all the Methodist preach- 
ers within ■ a large circuit. At the 
earliest conferences, not only was the 
house filled, but the barn was so filled 
with saddle horses that the squire's 
horses and cows were turned into the 
meadows. Father Taylor was a con- 
stant visitor, and so Vvas the eccentric 
Rev. Dr. Maffit, who once made a long 
stay with his wife and large family, 
including twin babies. Another ec- 
centric visitor was the celebrated Lo- 
renzo Dow% whose delivery of his ser- 
mons here was punctuated by throw- 
ing the cushions from the pulpit in 
his excitement, and who was so ab- 
sent minded that he walked directly 
by the chaise waiting for him at the 
door to take him to Falrhaven, and 

started on foot, across the fields, in 
a heavy storm. It is also recalled 
that on their way to a conference at 
Nantucket, 15 ministers left their sad- 
dle horses to be taken care of for the 

There are many pleasant stories of 
him at this time, from which to form 
some idea of his personality. In his 
home, in church meetings and in his 
Ijublic and private business he seems 
to have shown a native dignity that 
never failed. He was of medium size, 
stoutly built, and extremely neat in 
person, with fair skin and light brown 
hair. His daughter-in-law describes 
him, as he drove up to the custom 
house in his bellows-topped chaise. 
"He was a man of stately presence, 
gracious and serene, ever careful in 
his dress, wore bottle green broad- 
cloth-only parsons wore black in 
those days — a buff vest, white neck 
cloth and a ruffled shirt." The only 
picture ever taken of him, a small oil 
painting made in Liverpool when he 
was about 30 years old, repeats these 
details of his dress. His children 
remember playing with the tassels of 
his "Wellington boots" brought from 
England. Daniel Ricketson writes 
of him. "He was a retired and 
respected shipmaster, a man of 
commanding presence, well dressed in 
the style of that day, and wore a 
white beaver hat." My father, his 
youngest son, said of him: "He was 
always firm, but never harsh. I nev- 
er heard him laugh aloud, but his 
smile I can never forget. It was 
always reward enough when we 
pleased him." A daughter of Abram 
Smith, my maternal great-grand- 
father, for 20 years postinaster of 
New Bedford, told me when she was 
80 years old. "as a child I often went 
from the postoffice room to the next 
one, used for the custom house. Squire 
Hawes always made me welcome with 
a pleasant smile; I have never since 
heard the word 'serene' without 
thinking of him." Another, the dau- 
ghter of an old sea captain, on hear- 
ing a few years ago that he had 
a living namesake, said: "I am glad 
to know some one lives to bear that 
name; it is one I was taught to rever- 

"The history of this interesting 
household would not be complete with 
out special mention of the "house 
mother", his second wife, Mary Tall- 
man Willis, who for 20 years as his 
help mate, and after his death, fulfill- 
ed all the duties bequeathed to her, 
surviving him 35 years, and dying in 
New Bedford where she was born, in 
her 91st year. 

"At the time of their marriage she 
was the widow of Samuel Willis, with 
one daughter, ten years old, after- 
wards the wife of Dr. Alexander Read, 

and he was a widower with one daugh- 
ter and two sons, and to these seven 
children slie was a mother so just 
and loving that her youngest stepson 
never knew, until he was 19 years old, 
that he was not her own son. 

"In appearance and temperament 
she was a direct contrast to her hus- 
band. She was of mediuin size, with 
marked features, dark complexion, 
with bright dark eyes, quick in her 
inovements, had a "quick wit," a posi- 
tive genius for seeing the laright side, 
and an unfailing cheerfulness and 
patience in dealing with the inevitable 
cares and anxieties of this large fam- 
ily, as well as those of the varied in- 
terests of her husband's public and 
private business. For 20 years she 
was the "main spring" of the Acush- 
net home, regulating it with unfail- 
ing tact, and joining her husband in 
its unbounded hospitalities. Their 
last Acushnet home, still standing and 
well preserved, was sold at his death, 
182 4, to his neighbor, Mr. Russell, 
whose son, George Russell, when very 
old, told me, "I remember them well, 
and they were fine people. My father 
who had always known her, said Mrs. 
Hawes was a high stepper and a good 
manager." I remember once, after 
Captain Hawes had started on a voy- 
age to London, she made up her inind 
that the house was not big enough; 
"'her new baby crowded the other 
children." So she sent for a carpen- 
ter the very next day, and had another 
story added to the back part of the 
house, which was very old. When he 
returned the bill had been paid and 
the rooms were in use and when she 
asked him if she had done right, he 
answered, "you always do right, wife." 

"From her childhood she had a 
pleasant gift of rhyming, and after 
her death I found little rhyming notes, 
written in 1769, when she was ten 
years old, to her playmate Hannah 
Pope. The Tallman and Pope home- 
steads, on the present Acushnet ave- 
nue, were sepera.ted by a brook, and 
a hollow tree, overhanging its bank, 
was their postoffice. In later years 
she always carried paper and pencil 
in her poclvet, and often stopped in 
her work to "set down her thoughts," 
Gifts to her children and grandchild- 
ren all had a bright loving verse added 
to them. Often a gift of food to a 
sick neighbor would have its "line," 
and long, interesting, beautifully writ- 
ten letters to her children were care- 
fully preserved. When she became 
blind, in her last years, she often call- 
ed me to her and said "Bring pencil 
and paper, I have some thoughts to 
set down." 

If John Hawes ever entered the 
whaling service, it must have been 
soon after the close of the Revolu- 
tionary war, but there is no record 

of it. His first voyage to Europe of 
which I find a record is in 1793. He 
made several voyages there before 
1795, and was once one of only two 
survivors of a shipwreck. Later he 
was given charge of a sliipping agencj- 
in Dunliirk, France, in company witli 
William Rotch, Jr., of New Bedford, 
Thomas Macy of Nantucket and Jere- 
miah Winslow of Portland. On the 
breaking out of the French revolu- 
tion Mr. Rotch left France with Mr 
Hawes, bringing a large amount of 
specie hidden in the ceiling of the 
ship's cabin, none but those two 
knowing of its existence. They were 
chased by pirates, and Mr. Rotch, los- 
ing confidence in his sailing master, 
gave the command to young Hawes. 
who brought the ship and treasure 
safely to New. Bedford. 

"After his return from France he 
became a successful captain in the 
foreign and coasting merchant service, 
in the einploy of New York and New 
Bedford merchants. There are let- 
ters from the Posts, Grinnells, How- 
lands, Minturns, Hazards, Rotches. 
Russells, Fishes and others, and as 
carefully preserved copies of his re- 
plies to many of them. They form a 
collection that any man might V)e 
proud to leave to his children. Would 
that all his children could have lived 
to see them! While the majority are 
on business, all have personal ex- 
pressions of their reliance on his judg- 
ment and 'integrity' — that good old- 
fashioned word is often used — am' 
many have postscripts about personal 
matters that are very pleasant read- 
ing. One letter from Gilbert Russell, 
afterward his brother-in-law, in for- 
iTial business words, ends impulsively, 
'I regret to hear you are not well 
I beg you to take good care of your- 
self, for good men are scarce.' 

"Soon after his first marriage, dur- 
ing one of his visits in London, he 
happened one evening into a crowded 
religious meeting, where he was 
greatly interested by the fervor and 
eloquence of the speaker. On his re- 
turn to his lodgings, in the house of 
an old Quaker lady, on • telling what 
he had heard, she said, 'Why, thee 
has been among the Methodees!' On 
his return to Acushnet he found that 
the trustees of the Congregational 
church, of which he was a member, 
had, according to the church law then 
in force, levied on the property of 
some aged neighbors, unable, through 
sickness and poverty, to attend ser- 
vices or pay their church tithes. 
Clioosing what seemed to be their 
most valuable personal effects, the 
officers had -literally 'despoiled their 
very hearthstone' by carrying off the 
brass andirons from their only fire- 
place, and offering them for sale in 
the village store. He immediately 

bought and returned them, and sev- 
ered his connection with the church 
that seized them. The very next Sun- 
day his pew was empty, and remained 
so. He soon turned definitely to the 
faith wliich realized his personal prin 
ciples of love and justice. The stern 
Puritan doctrine had never been ac- 
ceptable to hiin, and the new atmo- 
sphere of Christian fellowship was 
very grateful. Methodist preachers 
from Boston were invited to hold 
meetings in his house, and a class was 
formed of which he was the first 
leader. In 1805, Rev. Epaphras 
Kibbj^ held the first public services, 
followed by Father Taylor, Mr. Maf- 
fitt and others, and when the church 
was finally organized in IS 07 he gave 
a lot, timber, and money for the 
first building. The deed of the lot 
stipulates that it should revert to his 
heirs if ever diverted from the use 
of this church, and his children were 
pledged to fulfil his wish. To their 
loyalty to this pledge, this congrega- 
tion now owes the present church at 
Acushnet on the spot now consecrated 
b5' 100 j-ears of the faithful service of 
five generations. 

"The original contract for the first 
building, signed by Henry Reming- 
ton and Stephen Davis, housewrights, 
and John Hawes, Esq., was found 
among his papers, and has been given, 
with others, to the present church 
trustees, to be preserved with the 
later records. The only description 
of the building that I recall is that 
it had one door in front, one aisle in 
the middle of the plain benches which 
served for seats. Being hard of hear- 
ing, Mr. Hawes sat in a large chair 
in front of the pulpit, among the 
singers, who sat on the front bench, 
and Capt. Gordon, with his pitchpipe, 
led the tunes. 

"When he gave up his seafaring life, 
he became interested in many business 
enterprises. In his shipyard on the 
Acushnet river, he was builder and 
part owner of seven vessels, and he 
formed several business partnerships, 
besides building salt works at Bell- 
ville. At one time, in jiartnership 
with Joseph Wheldon, they carried on 
their business in the building, now in 
ruins, afterward used as one of the 
first cotton inills in America. This 
partnership of Hawes & Wheldon was 
begun in 1819. There are papers of 
Hawes & Taber (his brother-in-law. 
Stephen) from 1811 to 1814; Hawes & 
Haskell, no date. In 1813 the ship- 
yard 'on Sam.'l Perry, Esq.'s, land,' — 
John Hawes, part owner, — was leased 
by William Kempton. At this time 
he was nominated collector, and dis- 
posed of his ship interests. In 1822 
there are acounts of his interest in 
'candle works,' and contract for build- 


ing 'salt works,' the only business pa- 
pers I find at this time outside of his 

"For ten years, from 1805, he felt 
the general depression of business pre- 
ceding and during the war with Eng- 
land, 1812-15. In political matters he 
early took a firm stand, and in 1807 
was elected representative to the Mas- 
sachusetts legislature from New Bed- 
ford for one term. Political excite- 
ment was intense, and he was defeated 
as a candidate for the same office in 
1808. As ship owner and merchant, 
he suffered much from the Embargo, 
both of France and England. He 
writes to his son in 1811, 'I am unable 
to collect from my many interests 
enough to defray the necessary ex- 
penses of my family, and there is 
absolute need in the community which 
I am unable to relieve.' In the same 
year he writes: 'I devote much time to 
the farm and the boys (then 9 and 11 
years old) hav-J been of real service 
to me in getting in the harvest. It 
is, however, so small that I shall send 
you, by packet, a quantity of bags 
which I wish you to ship promptly to 
be filled with corn in a southern mar- 

"As justice, he had waged a steady 
war against the universal persistence 
of smugglers, and as ship owner he 
lost heavily, saying, 'I would rather 
all my vessels would rot at the wharf 
than to trade with the enemy, or ask 
my captains to take a false oath at 
the custom house.' Of course he in- 
curred the lasting hatred and opposi- 
tion of disloyal custom house officers, 
and when his name was first present :i 
for appointment as collector of New 
Bedford, in 1808, he was defeated by 
his political opponent, who became his 
bitter, personal enemy. 

"In 1812 he was one of the organ- 
izers of the New Bedford Bible society, 
and was chosen its first president, and 
the same year he was authorized Lo 
issue a warant calling on the inhabi- 
tants of Fairhaven to vote upon the 
question of establishing the township, 
and to preside at the meeting until the 
election of a moderator. He was also 
head of the committee appointed to 
build a 'Town House' in Fairhaven, 
then New Bedford. There seems to 
have been no limit to the calls upon 
his time and strength. 

"On taking possession of the custom 
house he soon revolutionized the ad- 
ministration of its affairs, fighting 
within it. as he had long fought with- 
out, against all disloyalty, and estab- 
lishing there the orderly, painstaking, 
loyal service he had always given to 
his private, judicial and church work. 
That he was utterly fearless in the dis- 
charge of his duty is shown bv copies, 
in his own handwriting, of letters writ- 
ten to both friend and foe. The bit- 

tor opposition of his political enemies, 
beginning with his first election to the 
legislature in 1807, was continued en- 
tirely through his collectorship and 
was ended only by his death in 1824. 
A personal letter from his 'good and 
true' friend, Thomas Hazard, Jr., writ- 
ten in 1818, when he had held the 
office four years, warned him of fresh 
attempts of his enemies to have him 
removed. Charges of dishonesty and 
disloyalty among the employes of lis 
office were also reported, and he was 
urged to watch carefully, lest there 
might be some grounds for them, 
which would result in injury to him- 

There are many other interesting 
letters from this good old Quaker, 
who left all his business interests in 
New Bedford in the care of John 
Hawes. In one he says, "Do as you 
judge best in all matters, I trust you 
entirely." Among other long ones 
are those of the old Quaker, Capt. 
Preserved Fish, many of them poli- 
tical, in which he strongly, but in a 
friendly spirit, objects to Friend 
Hawes' oposition to the old Federal 
party. The letters of these sterling 
friends show them to have been in- 
telligent, loyal, practical men, and 
personal matters, freely discussed in 
them, show a close friendship, valued 
by them all. 

The issuing of the Embargo Act 
marked the beginning of several years 
that tried men's souls, especially 
those of government officers, who 
tried faithfully to perform the duties 
of their offices. A recent article on 
the condition of affairs at that time 
says: "They were hard days for rev- 
enue officers. Many of the most promi- 
nent merchants of the largest sea- 
ports, when their trade was practi- 
cally ruined by the embargo, sent 
out tlieir ships as privateers. Many 
of them honestly and firmly believed 
in their right to seize all they could, 
and enter it free of duty, and many 
more, utterly devoid of principle, 
preyed on friend and foe alike." I 
find many copies of search warrants 
issued by John Hawes, justice, giving 
authority to search for smuggled 
goods in New Bedford and Fairhaven. 
This was the beginning of the gen- 
eral opposition to Mr. Weston, who 
was apointed collector in 1808. I 
find receipted bills of a Boston law- 
yer to "John Hawes for services in 
his contention with Isaiah Weston." 

The Centennial number of The 
Morning Mercury, issued in 1907, gives 
an account of this long contention, 
and adds, "It was not long afterwards 
that Mr. Weston, the collector, was 
removed, and John Hawes, Esq., ap- 
pointed in his place." This was five 


years after he had been first nomi- 
nated for the office and defeated by 
Mr. Weston. Meanwhile, he had 
again served as a member of the 
Massachusetts legislature, for Fair- 
haven, in the session of 1813-14. His 
honorable and faithful service there, 
convincing his fellow citizens of his 
fitness for the service of the United 
States government, he was again nom- 
inated for the collectorship. A copy 
of this petition, sent to Washington 
at this time, records that some of the 
signers, "being convinced of the un- 
fitness of the present collector for 
the office, and that all his charges 
against Mr. Hawes were unfounded," 
asked the appointment of John Hawes, 

After building his house in Acush- 
net, in 1817, Mr. Hawes rode daily 
to the custom house, returning at 
night. Up to a few weeks before his 
death he dined at Nelson's tavern, 
and I find numerous bills, one only 
two inches square, which reads: 

Esq. Hawes, to 17 dinners, $3.12. 
Rec'd Pay't, 

Nath'l Nelson. 

In April, 1815, he removed his 
family to New Bedford, to be nearer 
the custom house, renting there the 
house of his friend, Thomas Hazard, 
now standing on Water street, but he 
was greatly annoyed by the constant 
opposition and abuse of his disloyal 
neighbors there. This, added to the 
strain of his official duties and his 
personal business and home duties, 
affected his h^lth seriously, and by 
the advice of physicians he took a 
long rest and change of scene, travel- 
ling from New Bedford to Saratoga 
Springs, N. Y., in a chaise, accom- 
pa^nied by his wife, who kept a daily 
journal, which we now have. Neatly 
written in ink, sometimes on her 
lap in the chaise, while the horse was 
fed, often at night, when her husband 
slept, it is an interesting and amusing 
manuscript. The chaise was new, 
also the horsehair trunk strapped on 
behind; the horse was strong and 
trusty, and the return journey was 
inade in six weeks from their de- 

parture, in September. But a few 
miles from the Springs stood the home 
of the uncle from whom he fled in his 
boyhood. His uncle's aged wife was 
still living, and when he one day made 
himself known to her she showed 
great emotion. The journal says: 
"With streaming eyes she welcomed 
the honored and beloved man, who, 
40 years before, a helpless, unhappy 
orphan, left her door to begin a new 
life. Now he stood before her a 
noble, loyal, successful man, in his 

The use of the water at the Springs 
did not seem to benefit him, and they 
remained but a short time, but the 
rest and change strengthened him, and 
he resumed his ofticial duties. In 1817, 
he returned to Acushnet, bought an 
old homestead, and added to it the 
large house now standing east of the 
stone bridge and next to the home of 
Judge Spooner. He and his family 
gladly returned to a country home, 
and the change was a happy one. Here 
he passed the last seven years of his 
life, riding daily to New Bedford and 
enjoying, when there, the companion- 
ship of many valued friends. 

A chronic dropsical affection of the 
chest, caused by exposure in his early 
life, slowly and steadily increased, but 
almost to the last he went to his office 
in the custom house where his faith- 
ful deputy kept watch during his ab- 
sence. He bore his increasing weak- 
ness and pain patiently, calmly setting 
his hou.sehold and business cares in 
perfect order, as he had always done. 
On his death he delivered to another 
guardian the property left by his two 
brothers which he had held many 
years for their children; principal and 
interest were untouched, although he 
had clothed and educated them me :- 
while. Squire Spooner, to whom the 
charge was given, said: "It was a most 
affecting sight to see this good stew- 
ard of the Lord give up his steward- 
ship, faithful unto death." 

He died on the evening of Dec. 29, 
1824, aged only 56 years. 

"Behold the upright man! For the 
end of that man is peace." 



In the summer of 1906 I was re- 
quested by a committee of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church of Acushnet, of 
which John Hawes was the founder, 
to prepare a short personal sketch of 
him to be read at the centennial cele- 
bration of that church in September, 
1907. At that time I gave what small 
help I could to Mr. Franklyn How- 
land, for the history of the church he 
was then preparing. It was always a 
great regret to his children that there 
were no records of his later life, and 
there was very little reliable material 
for any account of him. 

All his books and papers were giv- 
en, at his death, to his oldest son and 
executor, John A. Hawes, of Fair- 
haven, who duly administered the es- 
tate and was then supposed to have 
destroyed them. He died three years 
after his father, in 182 7, leaving two 
very young sons who never knew any- 
thing of their grandfather's affairs. 
By a very strange and remarkable 
coincidence, at the very time the first 
steps were taken to mark this cen- 
tennial, all these letters and papers 
were accidentally found by the widow 
of his grandson, John A. Hawes, Jr., 
in a chest stored in the old Fairhaven 
Academy. Instead of destroying, the 
executor had carefully preserved and 
refiled them, adding many of his own 
letters from and to his father. At 
his death, others of his own papers 
had been placed above them, and al- 
though some of these were afterward 
referred to by his heirs, the oldest 
ones, those of John Hawes, remained 
at the bottom, unknown and untouch- 
ed for 82 years. As I happened to 
be in New Bedford at the time they 
were found, they were all given into 
my care, the first thought being mere- 
ly to obtain dates, etc., connected with 
this church anniversary and Mr. How- 
land's history of Acushnet, but I soon 
found that a much larger trust had 

been "laid upon me," as the Quakers 

I have since carefully sorted and 
read more than two thousand of these 
letters and papers, varying from small 
bills and receipts not more than two 
inches square, to long legal papers. 
Beginning in 1792 at the time of his 
marriage, when he was twenty-four 
years old, the oldest are marked "My 
accounts since I became a household- 
er." They furnish a minute history 
of the last thirty years of his useful, 
busy life. Most of them were in his 
own handwriting. Printed forms were 
few in those days, and paper was 
scarce and expensive, and hundreds of 
pages of carefully copied legal papers 
and business letters show how the 
"unlettered youth" developed into the 
well-trained, intelligent, painstaking, 
upright business man. 

There are copies of business and po- 
litical letters from his tried and true 
friends, neatly kept small books of his 
personal expenses, copies innumerable 
of local and government papers, year- 
ly files of bills and receipts, accounts 
and contracts connected with the 
Methodist church, papers relating to 
his administration of several estates — • 
a wonderful record of his faithful 
stewardship of the affairs of his fellow 

I have attempted no extended history 
of his life, nor any eulogy of his hon- 
ored name, but have tried, in connec- 
tion with this memorial, and from 
written and spoken words, simply to 
show to his children's children here, 
and to you his successors in this 
household of faith, the personality of 
the man' himself. Would that I 
could also make plain to you what I 
have read between the lines of these 
papers committed to my care, and, 
more than all, the fragrance, so real 
to me, that has exhaled from those 
dusty and worm-eaten records of a 
"just life." 



'Do as you judge best in all matters, 
I trust you entirely." 

In a letter to John Hawe.s from Thomas Hazard, Jr. 


"The glories of our blood and state 

Are shadows, not substantial things. 
There is no armor against Fate; 
Death lays his icy hand on kings. 
Sceptre and crown 
Must tumble down! 
Only the ashes of the just 
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust. 




No. 23. 

Being the proceedings of the Twenty-second Meeting of the Old Dart- 
mouth Historical Society, held in their building, Water Street, New 
Bedford, Massachusetts, on January 12, 1909. 

RAID OF 1778. 

Compiled by Henry Howland Crapo in 1839-40 

[Note.— The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the 
society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store. 

"^ ^/ <^,o^ 





Old Dartmouth Historical Society 




JANUARY I 2, 1909. 

The Old Dartmouth Historical So- 
ciety's regular quarterly meeting 
proved of exceptional interest to the 
members. The feature was the an- 
nouncement of the discovery, by 
William W. Crapo, of a series of his- 
torical sketches of early New Bedford, 
written by his father, the late Henry 
H. Crapo, and their forthcoming pub- 
lication by the society. 

President Edmund Wood called the 
meeting to order at 8 o'clock. The 
disagreeable weather kept the attend- 
ance down. Comparatively few mem- 
ber.s were present. 

"The society continues prosperous, ' 
continued Mr. Wood. "The membership 
is holding its own, new members off- 

setting those who have fallen by the 
way; and the interest in the society 
also continues. 

"In the first place, the building is 
being used, and a great many people 
visit the collections. The museum 
committee has been active, and have 
arranged exhibitions that were very 
successful. The teas have also been 
held, and a very satisfactory enter- 
tainment, a 'Breton Afternoon,' given 
through the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. 
Clement Swift. * 

"The research committee is actively 
at work, and several papers are in 
embryo, for future meetings. The pro- 
gram for tonight has been arranged 
by this comittee. and it is J'airly full, 
so that the oresident will not detain 

you by remarks. Every community 
has its iiistory, generally written about 
it; and in nearly every community 
there have been a great many written 
histories. Many citizens have an in- 
terest that leads them to accumulate 
facts, sometimes never printed, by old 
worthies of Dartmouth — narratives 
written by come of our grandmothers 
that probably entertained small 
audiences in the past; and it would be 
well for the committee to obtain them, 
if possible. 

"The historical matter of tonight is 
a much more ambitious effort. One of 
our older inhabitant.? did, in a more 
complete way, assemble a great deal 
of material, and it has come to our 
notice. It Vv^ill be introduced to us by 
the son of the author, who. by his 
commemorative addresses and his ef- 
forts in behalf of the society itself has 
already taken place as one of the pro- 
minent historians of this community 
I will introduce William Wallace 

Iteniarks by Hon. William W. Crapo. 

"There resided in New Bedford in 
1839," said Mr. Crapo. "a man named 
John (Gilbert. In the directory of that 
year he is mentioned as a laborer liv- 
ing at 2 4 North street. I remember i:o 
have seen him and to have heard him 
tell the story of what he and others of 
that day regarded as the most notable 
and exciting event in the history of 
the town — its invasion by a Britisn 
army in 1778. When I saw Mr. Gil- 
bert he was about seventy-five years 
of age. He was short and slight in 
stature, but active and alert and 
quick in his movements. He had 
readiness of soeech and clearness of 
memory. I was told, if I remember 
rightly, that he was of Scotch birth 
and that at an early age he was ap- 
prenticed or bound out, as it was 
called, to Joseph Russell, the leading 
resident and largest landed proprietor 
of Bedford village. 

"When a young man, my father, 
Henry H. Crapo, entertained the idea 
that at some leisure time in the future 
he might possibly be disposed to write 
a history of Old Dartmouth or of 
Bedford Village. That leisure time 
never came. But his fondness for local 
historical research led him to gather 
up for reference and preservation 
whatever referred to the earlier years 
of the town. He desired to obtain 
accurate and detailed accounts f ro n 
those who had witnessed and partici- 
pated in its memorable events. He 
knew John Gilbert of whom I have 
spoken and thought his story had 
historical value. Mr. Gilbert a number 
of times came to my father's offlce. 
It was there that I saw him. Encour- 
aged and aided bv suggestive ques- 

tions he told with much minuteness 
what he saw and learned about the 
pillage and burning and killing by The 
British troops. All this was carefully 
written out. Sixty years had elapsed, 
but they had not effaced his recollec- 
tion of those days of alarm and 

"He further gave a complete ac- 
count of all the buildings in the vil- 
lage, the dwellings, stores and shops, 
at that time, those burned by the 
British and those that were not 
destroyed, giving their location and 
thenames of their owners and oc- 
cupants. This information was made 
a matter of record. 

"There was another narrative. It 
was told by Elijah Macomber, who 
was a soldier and a member of the 
military company that garrisoned Fort 
Phoenix. He was in the fort on the 
day it was bombarded by the Britisli 
fleet. With sorr. 3 minuteness he 
described the occurrences of that 
eventful day. 

"These narratives are interesting 
because told by persons who witnessed 
and had a »art in the events they 
described. They are contributions to 
our local history which ought not to 
be lost. 

"These manuscripts, carefully pre- 
pared and arranged, were placed in a 
portfolio used exclusively as the re- 
ceptacle in the collection of whatever 
data and information came to hand 
relating to tiie history of the town. 
Several months since I caine across 
that portfolio. Its contents have not 
been disturbed for more than fifty 
years. As I was unable to read the 
manuscript, through failure of sight 
I handed the portfolio to Mr. Worth, 
the chairman of our Historical Re- 
search committee, with a request that 
he examine its contents and learn if 
it contained anything of value in the 
present or worthy of preservation for 
the future. This he has kindly done. 
While he will not weary you by read- 
ing all it contains, perhaps there may 
be descriptions and incidents which 
may interest you." 

Remarks by Heury B. Worth 

During the Revolution the towns 
on Buzzards Bay were neither wealthy 
nor populous. Dartmouth had been 
for a century under the domination 
of the society of Friends and was not 
especially beligerent. Fairhaven had 
sent an ex»edition in 1775 to recap- 
ture two vessels seized by the English 
and anchored in the Bay. During the 
first three years of the war 120 
Dartmouth men had served in the 
American army. These acts were not 
so extensive as to furnish a reason 
for sending a force of several thou- 

sand troops to destroy the villages on 
the Acushnet. The motive, however, 
was not due to any warlike demonstra- 
tions of the inhabitants but to cripple 
business activity which had given aid 
to the American cause. 

The river between Bedford and Fair- 
haven had been a safe and conve- 
nient harbor for privateers where they 
could obtain supplies. A fort had been 
established on the rocky promontory 
since 1804. known as Fort Phoenix 
which provided a slight defence 
against vessels approaching from the 
ocean but more important than this 
were maritime enterprises that direct- 
ly or indirectly assisted the colonial 
insurrection. In South Dartmoutli 
Elihu and James Akin had a ship yard 
and in September, 17 78, a vessel was 
ready to launch. There is a suggestion 
that she was to be a privateer. Then 
on the west side of the Acushnet from 
its head south to the bay were ship 
yards, oil factories, rope walks, 
wharves, a distillery and other acces- 
sories of whaling and cominerce be- 
side vessels always at the landings 
Here was property that contributed 
liberally to the support of the conti- 
nental revolution. 

nental revolution. Shipping was built, 
equipped, repaired and supplied, store 
houses were filled with rum, oil, cord- 
age and other merchandise in demand 
at every inarket, for which could be 
obtained in exchange commodities of 
which the colonies were in need. Such 
active assistance to the rebellion was 
somethimes to be checked and a raid 
was planned as a military movement 
to reduce the opportunity for assist- 

According to the records in the 
archives department in the State 
House in Boston it appears that at the 
opening of tlie war orders were given 
to prevent vessels leaving the colony 
without permission. Bedford men who 
owned vessels were William Tallman, 
Isaac Howland, Lemuel Williams, 
Gamaliel Church, John Alden, Joseph 
Russell, John Williams, Barnabas Rus- 
sell, Leonard Jarvis, David Shepard, 
Seth Russell, Joseph Howland, William 
Claghorn, Patrick Maxfleld, Zadock 
Maxfield, Abraham Smith, Daniel 
Smith, Ureal Rea. 

In October, 1775, William Davis 
received permission to fit out a sloop 
for some West Indian port to bring 
back a cargo of powder. 

In the same year the brig Kezia, 
David Sowle, master, was permitted 
to sail on a whaling voyage, a bond 
to bring the oil and bone to Dart- 
mouth having been given by the own- 
ers, David Shepard, Seth Russell, 
David Sowle and Abraham Smith. 

During the year 1776 restriction on 
whaling and commerce became acute. 

Leonard Jarvis, a business associate 
of Joseph Rotch, sent the sloop Polly 
with rum and sugar to South Carolina 
for a cargo of rice and Joseph Russell 
sent the Smiling Molly for the same 
merchandise. At the end of that same 
year Barnabas Russell stated that 
provisions were scarce and he peti- 
tioned for permission to send to South 
Carolina the schooner Rouger for rice 
and Patrick Maxfleld sent out the 
schooner Wealthy for the same cargo. 

In April, 1777, there were 75 men at 
Fort Phoenix and as their time had 
expired the local authorities asked for 
a detachment of 40 men and four field 
pieces — 4 pounders. 

A committee of "inspection and 
safety" was formed with Col. Edward 
Pope as chairman. Its duties were to 
detect and report any inhabitants who 
exhibited Tory sympathies. 

Privateers began to make the 
Acushnet a harbor. The brig Fanny 
18 guns, owned by Abraham Babcock 
and commanded by Capt. John Ken- 
drick was at Dartmouth; also the 
"Ainerican Revenue" with two prizes, 
a ship and a schooner. 

No systematic attempt was insti- 
tuted by the English to hinder the 
Dartinouth merchants conductin.g 
whaling and trading. Some of their 
vessels were captured, but more es- 

An amusing incident gives a glimpse 
of a possible reason why the Englisli 
may have regarded the Dartmouth 
inhabitants as entitled to favor. In 
April, 1778, Jireh Willis reported that 
the British were in the habit of land- 
ing on Naushon and taking all cattle 
there. Holder slocum, one of the 
owners, persisted in landing there two 
pairs of oxen. 

Freedom from interference by the 
English tempted the local traders to 
engage in commercial ventures and to 
accumulate considerable property. 

Under date of June 16, 1778, cer- 
tain prominent men of Dartmouth ad- 
dressed a communication to ihe 
General Court representing that the 
harbor on the Acushnet river is the 
only one between Cape Cod and North 
Carolina in control of the Americans 
and that there were fifty vessels there 
and the stores are filled with provi- 
sions; that several families had moved 
from Bedford and more proposed to 
do so unless assistance were given. It 
was signed by Fortunatus Sherman 
and Thomas Kempton, selectmen, Ed- 
ward Pope, Leonard Jarvis, Joseph 
Rotch, Joseph Russell, John Alden and 
Abraham Smith. 

As a consequence Col. Crafts was or- 
dered to Dartmouth with 50 men and 
4 field pieces to act under orders of 
Col. Edward Pope. 

The risk of an invasion into such 
an unprotected seaport ought to liave 
aroused more caution in the minds 
of the Bedford merchants and until 
there could be guaranteed to them 
sufficient protection such tempting col- 
lections of property ought not to have 
been permitted. Possibly the allur- 
ing profits derived from trading in 
time of war induced them to assume 
the hazard. 

Tory sympathizers kept the British 
fully informed and two of them pilot- 
ed the fleet into the bay. A time was 
selected when the collection of prop- 
erty on the Acushnet was large and 
valuable and all men capable of bear- 
ing arms had gone to Stone Bridge for 
military defence. 

The English expedition was ar- 
ranged with all spectacular accom- 
paniments calculated to inspire terror 
and subdue the inhabitants. An army 
of British regulars fully armed and 
equipped entered the bay in a large 
fleet of vessels. The force was ten 
times more numerous than all the 
men residing in the region. The grim 
labor of destruction was systemati- 
cally conducted. The purpose was to 
destroy and not to pillage. While the 
torch seems to have been applied 
only to structures devoted to manu- 
facturing or mercantile purposes yet 
there is no evidence that the English 
endeavored to prevent the flames 
spreading to dwelling houses In their 
tour of fifteen miles from Clarke's 
Point to Sconticut Neck they accom- 
plished a thorough work of devasta- 
tion. The British coinmander com- 
placently reported to his chief that he 
had executed the order "in the fullest 
manner." Five years later Stephen 
Peckham, Jabez Barker and Edward 
Pope, selectmen of Dartmouth report- 
ed to the general court that the value 
or property destroyed exceeded £105,- 
000, or over one-half million dollars. 

It was the only occasion when hos- 
tile military forces landed on these 
peaceful shores and consequently it 
has always been regarded as one of 
the few occurrences of signal import- 
ance in the history of the town. Eye 
witnesses found eager listeners amoiit," 
succeeding generations. Old men re- 
lated to children the events of that 
woeful night and yet for over half a 
century the recollections of these wit- 
nesses were not reduced to writing. 
A few meagre statements were the 
only results deemed worthy of preser- 
vation. Fortunately for the modern 
historical student before all the par- 
ticipants In that disaster had passed 
away an efficient and able scribe com- 
piled a collection of greatest use be- 
cause of its accuracy and complete- 
ness. He was the first and only in- 

vestigator who appreciated the value 
of seeming trivial facts and with com- 
rriendable patience wrote down the 
narratives of the old men giving num- 
erous minute details which other his- 
torians had not deemed of sufficient 
interest to perpetuate. 

Henry H. Crapo was born in Dart- 
mouth near the Freetown line in 1804 
and died in 1869. The first of the 
Crapo family in this section came from 
the town of Rochester and located in 
the vicinity of the Babbit Forge in 
Freetown and it was in this locality 
that the family continued to live for 
several generations. Peter Crapo had 
a large family and it became neces- 
sary to provide for them homesteads 
in other places. One of the sons 

named Jesse married Phebe, the 
daughter of Henry Howland, and in 
lSo7 the father purchased for his son 
from Barnabas Sherman the farm on 
the north side of the Rock a Dander 
road, a short distance east of the 
Bakertown road and here was built 
the house still standing where the boy- 
hood of Jesse Crapo's son Henry was 

Much speculation has existed as to 
the meaning and origin of the name 
of that road. Some distance north of 
the road in the woods is a large 
bowlder resting on a high ledge of 
rock and this possibly was named 
the Rock of Dundee and from that 
phrase the numerous variations in the 
name may have originated. 

In 1825 Henry H. Crapo married 
Mary Ann Slocum, daughter of Wil- 
liam, who was the owner of the great 
farm at Barney's Joy. In early life 
young Crapo was a school master in 
Dartmouth and studied land surveying 
in which he became very proficient 
and which furnished considerable bus- 
iness after he had ceased teaching 
school. He possessed to a great de- 
gree two traits of a successful man, 
an unflagging industry and a careful 
attention to details. As a natural out- 
come of his environment and heredity 
he had a taste for local history. 

In 1832 he had removed from Dart- 
mouth to New Bedford about the time 
of the failure of the whaling firm of 
Seth Russell & Sons. The Seth Russell 
farm was bounded on the south by the 
line of South street; on the east by 
the Acushnet river; on the north by 
a line half way between Grinnell and 
Wing streets and ihe farm tapered as 
it extended westerly nearly to Button- 
wood Brook. Russell's house was lo- 
cated on the southeast corner of Coun- 
ty and Grinnell streets. His son Seth, 
Jr., occupied the house on the east 
side of Fourth street and north of 
South street, and his son-in-law, 
George Tyson, occupied the stone 

house on South street between Fourth 
and County. 

One of the results of the failure was 
to bring in^^o the market at once the 
whole of this farm and it was neces- 
sary to have the same surveyed and 
divided into small lots. This work was 
performed by Mr. Crapo and was the 
first extensive job in surveying which 
came to him after his removal to New 
Bedford. In 1842 he purchased for 
hiniself a considerable tract of this 
arm on the southwest corner of Wash- 
ington and Crapo streets, both of 
which he laid out and built the house 
for his residence which later became 
the home stead of Capt. William H. 
Besse. During many of the succeed- 
ing years he served the town as town 
clerk and occupied various offices until 
he removed to Michigan in 18 56. 

During the early years of Mr. 
Crapo's residence in New Bedford he 
became considerably interested in the 
history of the town and formed the 
purpose to prepare an:! write a more 
or less detailed account of the events 
and people of that locality. 

With considerable care Mr. Crapo 
reduced the recollections of these per- 
sons to writing and collected from 
newspapers and other sources a port- 
folio of historical data relating to New 
Bedford, but before reaching the stage 
where he was satisfied to put the ma- 
terial in narrative form, business con- 
nections required that he move to 
Michigan and the subject was never 
completed, but a portfolio of papers 
for over half a century has remained 
in New Bedford in the possession of 
hia son, William W. Crapo, and 
the same has now been examined and 
revised for the purpose of publica- 

Among these papers are two letters 
addressed to Mr. Crapo by James B. 
Congdon, written about the year 1844, 
and they disclose an interesting situa- 
tion in New Bedford in reference to 
a compilation of a local history. It 
seems that James B. Congdon and 
Daniel Ricketson were also intending 
t ' prepare local histories of a more 
or less elaborate character and there 
existed some rivalry between them, 
each considering the "field" his own. 

Mr. Congdon delivered a lecture on 
the early history of New Bedford be- 
fore the Lyceum, and some feeling 
was aroused in the minds of Messrs. 
Ricketson and Crapo, and during the 
day of Dec. 27, 1844, there was a 
considerable exchange of letters, and 
those of Mr. Congdon have been pre- 
served; but the matter was quickly 
dropped. Years later Mr. Ricketson 
published his history of New Bedford. 

Mr. Congdon collected numerous 
papers and historical data which 
have been added to the records in 
the New Bedford Public Library. 

The extracts from old newspapers 
made by Mr. Crapo may be found 
in the files of the Medley, Courier 
and Mercury. His extended inter- 
views with the old men of his day 
have the greatest historic value. Only 
a few minor corrections have been 
necessary, and these appear in the 
notes; but the bulk of the statements 
has been found to be in exact accord 
with contemporary public records. 
This reflects the greatest credit not 
only on the accuracy of the narrators, 
but the scrupulous care of the writer 
who elicited the facts and committed 
them to paper. 

John Gilbert, whose story is the 
longest, was a peculiarly voluable 
witness. By birth a Scotchman, he 
lived as hired boy in the family of 
Joseph Russell, the leading man of 
business and wealth in Bedford vil- 
lage. At his home visitors of standing 
were entertained, and the household 
numbered over 20 persons. Here 
would be heard, even by the servants, 
discussions of all public events of 
the day, and such an occurrence as 
the British Raid would be the topic 
of conversation for years. While Gil- 
bert was an eye-witness to the facts, 
yet in this atmosphere he would have 
a most intelligent appreciation of the 
relative importance of different de- 
tails, so, although his account was 
stated 60 years after, it no doubt con- 
tains the salient and principal occur- 
ence that came within his observation, 
narrated according to their impor- 

Although Mr. Crapo seems to have 
considered the Macomber narrative 
entitled to great weight, in two par- 
ticulars it has been criticized. 

1. As to the English troops land- 
ing on Sconticut Neck. 

2. That Isaac Howland's house 
could not have been burnt because it 
was a brick house and stood across 
the end of Pleasant street on the 
north side of Union and was stand- 
ing until modern times. 

In order that the landmarks and 
localities may be understood notes 
have been inserted in brackets. It 
should be kept in mind that the narra- 
tives were written in 1840 and the 
word "now" refers to that date. 

Other accounts of the Invasion may 
be found in Ricketson's and Ellis' 
History of New Bedford and in the 
New Bedford Evening Standard of 
Sept. 5, 1878. 



The Villages of Dartmouth in the 
British Raid of 1778. 

Compiled by Henry Howland Crapo in 1 839-40. 

Statement of John Gilbert of New 
Bedford in relation to tlie burning of 
Bedford Village by the British in 
1778; and, also, in relation to the 
number, location, owners, etc., of the 
dwelling houses and other buildings, 
including- those destroyed at that 

Said Gilbert was 75 years of age 
the 16th of September, 1839; was born 
in 1764. and consequently was about 
14 years of age at the time of the 
attack. He is a man of extraordinary 
memory, of quick comprehensions, 
very intelligent, and has resided in 
New Bedford since he was 4 years of 

His statement is in substance as 

On the 5th of September, 1778, in 
the afternoon, the British fleet ar- 
rived off Clarks point. It consisted 
of two frigates, an 18-gun brig and 
about 36 transports. The latter were 

small ships. The two frigates and 
brig anchored opposite the mouth of 
the Acushnet river and a little below 
the point. The transports were an- 
chored outside the Great ledge and 
opposite the mouth of the cove. The 
troops, including light-horse artillery, 
etc., were landed in barges. The 
landing was completed a little before 
night, near where the present alms- 
house is situated, and the troops ar- 
rived at the head of Main (now 
Union) street about dusk. A part of 
the troops were wheeled to the right 
and passed down Main street for the 
purpose of burning the town, whilst 
the remainder continued their march 
to the north on County street. There 
was not at this time more than 15 
able-bodied men in the place, every 
person that could leave having gone 
to reinforce the American army in 
Rhode Island, where at that very time 


they were engaged, their cannon be- 
ing distinctly heard here. 

I was at this time an apprentice to 
Joseph Russell, the father of Abra- 
ham, etc., and had been sent for a 
horse to carry my mistress to some 
place of safety. On my return she 
had gone, as also the goods from the 
house, but Peace Akins was there (a 
connection of the family), whom I 
was directed to carry with me. The 
house stood at the present corner of 
County and Morgan streets, and a 
little within the fence on the south- 
east corner of Charles W. Morgan's 
lot (a). By this time the British had 
appeared in sight. I was upon the 
horse by the side of the horse block, 
urging Mrs. Akins to be quick in get- 
ting ready. She, however, made some 
little delay by returning into the 
house for something, and before she 
had time to get up behind me four 
light-horsemen passed us, but without 
paying us any particular attention. 
Whilst the head of the British column 
was passing us and whilst Peace was 
in the very act of getting upon the 
horse, a soldier came up and, seizing 
the horse's bridle, commanded me to 
get off. I made no reply, but by 
reigning the horse suddenly round, 
knocked him down, which left me 
perfectly at liberty and headed to the 
north. The troops occupied nearly 
the whole of the road, leaving, how- 
ever, a small space on the west side 
between them and the wall. Through 
this open space I attempted to pass 
by urging my horse at the top of 
his speed, but before I had gone five 
rods a whole platoon was flred at me, 
without hitting either myself or horse. 
These were the first guns fired by 
the British since their landing. The 
troops now opened from the centre 
to close the space next the wall, 
which reduced me to the necessity of 
passing through the centre of the re- 
maining platoons. This I effected 
without injury, in consequence of the 
speed of my horse and being so mixed 
up with the troops as to prevent their 
firing. About 20 feet in advance of 
the leading platoon were placed two 
men with fixed bayonets, as a kind 
of advance guard. They were about 
six feet apart, and as I advanced from 
the rear they both faced about and 
presented their pieces, which I think 
^. ere snapped at me, but they did not 
fire. I passed through between them 
and made my escape, turning up the 
(b) Smith's Mills road; I went to 
Timothy Maxfield's, about 1 V^ miles, 
and stayed all night. 

I afterwards learned that upon 
leaving Peace Akins on the horse 
block some British officers rode up 
and assured her that if she remained 

perfectly quiet nothing should injure 
her. She remained in this situation 
until the troops had passed and the 
officers left her, when she went over 
the east side of the road into a field 
of pole-beans, and thence traveled. 

The four horsemen that first passed 
us on the horse block went into the 
house and plundered two men whom 
they found there, the goods have been 
already conveyed back. These men 
were Humphrey Tallman and Joseph 
Trafford, who worked for Joseph Rus- 

As I passed up the Smith's Mills 
road, and about one-quarter of a mile 
from County street, I met William 
Haydon and Oliver Potter, both armed 
with muskets, who inquired where the 
main body of the British then were. 
I told them they were nearly square 
against us. Upon receiving this in- 
formation they cut across the woods, 
etc., as I was afterwards told, and 
came out a little in advance of the 
British and near the west end of the 
present North street. The woods were 
very thick on the west side of County 
street at this place, and under cover 
of night and these woods Haydon and 
Potter fired upon the British and 
killed two horsemen. This I was told 
by Haydon and Potter, and also by 
the American prisoners on their re- 
turn home, who saw them put into 
the baggage wagon. One was shot. 

A few minutes after these men were 
shot Abraham Russell, Thomas Cook 
and Diah Trafford, all being armed, 
were discovered by the British at- 
tempting to leave the village by 
coming up a cross-way into County 
street. When at the corner of this 
way with County street, or nearly so, 
they were fired upon by the British 
and all shot down. Trafford was 21 
years of age lacking 14 days, and was 
in the employment of Joseph Russell, 
with whom I then lived. He was shot 
through the heart and died instantly, 
after which his face was badly cut to 
pieces with the sabres of the British. 
Cook also worked for said Russell, by 
the month; he was nearly 40 years 
of age. He was shot through the leg 
and also through the bowels, the lat- 
ter bullet passing through his bladder. 
He died about daylight next morning. 
Russel was about 40 years of age. He 
died about 10 o'clock the next morn- 
ing, at the house of said Joseph Rus- 
sell, where they were all carried after 
remaining all night in the road where 
they were shot. Russell and Cook 
were buried in Dartmouth (as stated 
by Macomber); Trafford was buried 
on the hill by the shore, a little north 
of the old ropewalk in this town. This 
was a sort of potter's field, where 

(a) It is the present William S. Reed's dwelling house. 

(b) Smith Mills road was Kempton street, Rockdale avenue and the Hathaway 
road. Timothy Maxfield's house was on the north side of the Hathaway road 
near the junction with Kempton street. 


sailors were buried; the land was 
owned by Joseph Russell (c). 

A company of artillery consisting of 
about 80 privates had been sent from 
Boston for the protection of the place. 
The building occupied by them as a 
barracks was the "poor house," which 
stood near the present site of Philip 
Anthony's dwelling house. It was a 
long, low building, and has since been 
pulled down (d). The company was 
commanded by Capt. James Gushing 
of Boston. Joseph Bell of Boston was 
first lieutenant, William Gordon of 
Boston, second lieutenant, and James 
Metcalf, third lieutenant. The latter 
was mortally wounded by the British 
during th-e night, at Acushnet. This 
company, although stationed here 
had a short time previous to the land- 
ing of the British been called to How- 
land's Ferry to aid the Americans 
against the British in Rhode Island. 
But during the day of the landing 
Lieuts. Gordon and Metcalf had re- 
turned with a part of the company 
and one piece. As the British ad- 
vanced they were under the neces- 
sity of retreating. They had a yoke 
of oxen of Joseph Russell's to draw 
their cannon. 

The officers of this company had 
their quarters at and boarded with 
Mrs. Deborah Doubleday, a widow, in 
the house in which Judge Prescott's 
office now is, which was then owned 
by Seth Russell, father of the late 
Scth and Charles. After Metcalf was 
wounded he was brought down to this 
house, where I saw him the next day. 
I think he lived three days (e). I 
was at his funeral — he was buried on 
the hill by the old meeting house at 
Acushnet, "under arins". 

The evening of the British attack 
was clear and moonlight. The sloop 
Providence was very often in here, 
and I was frequently on board of 
her. She was commanded by John 
Hacker of New York (since a pilot 
through Hell Gate), was sloop-rigged, 
and I think about 100 tons. She 
brought in the prize "Harriet of Lon- 
don," which was burnt on the south 
side of Rotch's wharf, below where 
the sail-loft now is. This was the 
wreck recently taken up on the bar. 
She also took and brought in prize 
the British-armed brig Diligence, of 
IS guns and commanded by John 
Smith of Liverpool. The engagement 
was off Sandy Hook and lasted five 
glasses (.2V2 hours). The Providence 
had two men killed — the sailing mas- 
ter, James Rodgers of Conn., and the 
steward, Church Wilkey, of Fairhaven 
(north part). Don't know the num- 
ber killed on board the brig. She was 
subsequently repaired here and 
manned, fitted, etc., as an American 

cruiser. She was with the squadron 
in the Penobscott and was there 
blown up by the order of the Ameri- 
can commandant, as was the Provi- 
dence. The crew of the brig was 
landed here, but I do not know where 
they went to. 

McPharson's wharf was at Belville, 
and was burnt by the British, together 
with some vessels laying there. A 
brig called the "No Duties on Tea" 
was burnt at this wharf. She drifted 
down the river after her fastenings 
were burnt off and finally sunk just 
at the north of "Dog Fish Bar" and 
abreast of the Burying Ground hill. 
Several other small vessels were burnt 
at this wharf and sunk; they were 
afterwards got up. 

An armed vessel sunk on the west 
side of Crow Island (which is oppo- 
site and near to Fairhaven village). 
She was afterwards got up. Her guns 
were got up by some persons diving 
down and fastening ropes to them 
upon which they were hoisted up. 
Benjamin Myrick was drowned in div- 
ing down for the purpose of fastening 
a rope to the last one. There were 
only two wharves in the village of any 
consequence. The largest was Rotch 
wharf (the present Rotch's wharf), 
the other was Joseph Russell's wharf 
(now Central wharf). 

[John Gilbert has been employed 
in the merchant and whaling service 
since 21 years of age. His parents 
resided in Boston. He was left an 
orphan. His father was lost in a ves- 
sel out of Boston, which was never 
heard of. He was brought to New 
Bedford at the age of 4 years and 
bound an apprentice.] — Note by H. 
H. Crapo. 


There were no privateers owned and 
fitted from New Bedford. They were 
all owned in Boston, Connecticut and 
Rhode Island, and rendezvoused here. 

A large sloop called the Broom fre- 
quently came in here. She was com- 
manded by Stephen Cahoon of Rhode 
Island and mounted 12 guns. 

"The Black Snake," a long, low, 
black schooner, frequently came in 
here. She was owned in Connecticut 
and mounted eight carriage guns. 
Don't know the name of her captain. 

An Indian burying place occupied 
the present site of the Merchants bank 
and Hamilton street. It was a bury- 
ing ground both before and after the 
war. It was a high hill, composed of 
rock covered with a few feet of earth. 
When the hill was cut down the bones 
were put into a box and interred in 
the Friends burying ground by Wil- 
liam Rotch, Jr. The Friends burying 

(c) The rope walk stood on the land now Morgan's lane and extended from the 
."Shore west to Acushnet avenue. 

(d) This lot was on the southeast corner of Sixth and Spring streets. 

(e) Prescott s office was on the west side of North Water street in the build- 
mg next north of the corner of Union. 


ground was on the shore, at the foot 
of Griffin street. 

Gilbert says "on the day the British 
landed they commenced carting goods 
about the middle of the afternoon, 
and carried them on to a piece of 
cleared land, containing about one 
acre, which was situated in the woods 
west of the jail and surrounded on 
all sides by swamp, heavy wood and 
thick copse. Many others carried 
goods to the same place. After mov- 
ing all the goods I was sent for a 
horse to the pasture west of where the 
jail now stands." 

Elijah Maconiber's Account of Raid. 

Account of the Durning of New Bed- 
ford and Fairhaven by the British 
troops, on the evening of the 5th of 
September, 1778, as given me by Elijah 
Macomber, lorinerly of Dartmoutn, 
now resident in New Bedford, Dec. 6, 
1839; said informant being in good 
health, and sound mind. He was 8 5 
years of age on the 14th day of May 
last, and consequently more than ?4 
years of age at the time, being born 
May 14, 1754. He was in the fort at 
Fairhaven on sai 1 5th day of Septem- 
ber, where xie served as a private from 
March, 1778, to December following. 

The substance of Mr. Macomber's 
statement is as follows: 

The fort below Fairhaven village 
was garrisoned, at the time, by Captain 
Timothy Ingraham, Lieutenant Daniel 
Foster and thirty-six non-commis- 
sioned officers and privates, making a 
total of 38 men. There were eleven cr 
twelve pieces of cannon mounted in 
the fort, and about twenty-five casks 
of powder in the magazine, twenty 
casks having been procured a few days 
previous from the commissary store in 
New Bedford, which was kept Ly 
Philip and Leonard Jarvis, brothers. 

About 1 o'clock p. m. Worth Bates 
(Timothy Tallman, Wm., etc., knew 
this man) who lived at a place r.n the 
Bedford side called McPharson's wharf 
(a), and who had that day been out 
fishing, landed at the fort in his boat 
and informed the captain that a 
British fleet was in the bay and nearly 
up with the point In a few moments 
they made their appearance by the 
point. The larger ship sailed up The 
river and anchored off abreast the 
fort. About one-half or more of the 
smaller vessels 2.nchored off Clark's 
point and the remainder dropped m 
to the east of the larger vessels and 
commenced embarking troops in a 
small cove, a short distance to the 
east of the fort, behind a point of 
woods and under cover of the guns of 
the larger vessels The fleet consisted 
of 36 sail. Immediately upon discover- 
ing them three guns were fired from 
the fort to alarm the country, and a 

despatch sent to Rowland's ferry, 
where a part of the American army 
then was, for reinforcements. The 
debarkation of the British troops 
commenced about 2 o'clock, both to 
the eastward of the fort, and at 
Clark's cove. A company of artillery 
from Boston consisting of about 60 
men, under the command of Capt. — 
Cushman, was stationed at the head of 
Clark's cove, which upon the landing 
of the British fell back, and retreated 
to the head of the Acushnet river. 

Metcalf was first lieutenant of 

this company and was shot during the 
night at Acushnet village. Wm. Gor- 
don, of this town, was second lieut- 
enant, and was taken prisoner by the 
British, but made his escape before 
they arrived at the head of Acushnet. 
The troops continued to debark from 
the transports lying; to the east of the 
fort until night, but neither their 
movements nor those landed at the 
cove could be seen from the fort. 

Not long after dark the detachments 
from the cove commenced the wo'-k 
of destruction. The first building dis- 
covered in flames were the ropewaiks 
and the distillery belonging to Isaac 
Howland (father of the late Isaac 
Howland, Jr). Soon after all the 
stores, warehouses, some barns and 
dwelling houses, together with every 
vessel they could get at were in 
flames. There were a large number cf 
vessels in the harbor at the time, — a 
large EngliSii ship having been 
brought in a prize by the French a 
few days previous and then lying at 
Rotch's wharf as well as several others 
a short time before. Every vessel was 
burnt, excepting those lying in the 
stream, which they could not get Pt, 
and a small craft somewhere up the 
river. The number of vessels destroyed 
was 70. Among the dwelling houses 

burnt was Rotch's and Isaac 

Howland's, Sr. 

A little bffore 9 o'clock or between 
8 and 9, and after some of the vess-^ls 
which had been set on fire on +he 
Bedford side and their cables and fast- 
enings burnt off. had drifted down to- 
wards the fort, the detachment which 
landed on the east side advanced upon 
the fort from the eastward. Two guns 
were then fired at the fleet, and after 
spiking the guns the garrison retreated 
to the north, leaving their colors fly- 
ing. The British supposing the fort to 
be still garrisoned, opened a heavy 
Are upon it with their artillery, which 
soon ceased upon not being returned. 
The garrison were at this time ranged 
along a low wall a short distance to 
the north of the fort, waiting to dis- 
cover the exact position of the army 
in order to xTiake their retreat success- 
fully. They were soon discovered by 

(a) McPherson's Wharf was at Belleville. 


K-r crr^s. t"i%f cor- 

tl^^°"^^A hSty .-etreat ^^J knowing 
°t^^!;pd and the enemv not k ^^ ^^^ 
tnenced f" jtion and swens . j-qus 
tY^e exact posu ^^^^e a vig 

Americans fJ,^ole garnson w^th _^^^^ 
pursuit, t ne_ pounded n' father. 

Exception of tn .^ ^^^ Succeeded . 

two others Joh prisoners succe^^^^ 
who were taK ^^^pe to tne 

in making t^ieir^^^^^^ "^^rough t.^e 
at some ittle u ^^^ *^^?ad passed 

haven, ^^f,Iftil the British ^ad P^ 

form. The £> ramrods, ^sP°"°agazine 
destroying the ^^^^ ^^ the n^^J^ 

^P>?;^h communicating with the^^ ^^, 
which com ^json, w^b ^^oymg 
^^" ''^than ^vas inte^*^%^^agmentl of 

-5°|\f!e?wafdl ^i--,SacirVarS 
l?rer ^-!--"fhe '^detachment -oved 
^^^'^^' dest'roying vessels stores ^^_ 
-d'or^ed a ^---Jlj^^^^^ 

-SS^^ai?- SV^^r^^hel |wn to^ 
^fter wMch thev They were o^^t^^ 

^•^';?t The next day t^,^^ fpi^oons o 
night The ^^^ leading Pi ^^ ^i 

. These men were earned o^-^t-^ 

rive- ^'^.r, „„ri bunetl on >-" .^^ was 
Dartmouth and ghearman) 

^f,tfto *e\aia Ab-ham^Sh^^ ^ 

^'^1... «vi«r.ners taKeii ^hi< 

-a-\^ -l-^^t nex^day t^^^f ^Soons of 
night. A "^„^^ The leading V'"' , -, f 

?r'deTachmen?on t^^.eT men^ who 
Se rfv-/,-n'ea7?he?oSe o| JoseP^ 
were armed neai ^.^^,ert. ^-^hran 

JnTSUl^, g. eTen-'werenCa'^am 
=f»' '',?''abour40 y"ars of age.- --^^^ 

v-|?apl -^-"'E i-Se^^ 

rapidly "Pon pegged ^or u ^^ 

-r,sn?a, S4«- 5rbiia:2f ;ss 

about 10 o ^ tive to tneu ^ 

statements /^f'^ carried m to Jos v 
Thev were an rnorning. 

T^n?selVs house m the mo^ ^l^ese 

^ Mr Macomher says he ^^^^^^.ed 
xnen lying ^^^^.l^'Xliove they were 
t^e next mornmg^^ ^^ nd he 

taken up_ ^^^^e th^ /a 

days until ren 

they came ucv ^^^jg .^vere ^ 

lrm'e^,o"nrf ?n con-„uen« ^oc -> 

»'^o<"he cove «h«e »| ,„ „,,. 
Tbis accounts tor_^_^ ^^^ , t. 

ing '^''^„,M following t''J,H."ais: 
On the nignt t barges "C'f„^,' ,, 


"'''^"/Vcrrv, ana a t^_^^, °' several 

oi^^- wallf-r^ord-e^efh^V any of 
?^f 'ieSerlfofflcer. ^^, serving 

'^WUliam Bhss say^J^/ ^ays troops 
nt that time at tne j: ^^^j ^ot oe 

^\re sent for, ^^^^^f Vys he moved 
reared and none went 

£"S"afa"a,ro r.- Of ^tne_^ga. 

. ^ tviat he enteiea '^""^ „ths and 
«S°^%f ic'ceSCev,'"c°? 
Stayed untu father 

^%so™tl,at Wm Tanman| fath 
„,f 'tiucn X;r"falterat AcusMet 
'"iS"tl,at the Antencan pnsone^s 
°i<Sr£.cl1f the f tlsh^---,- 

".'»irl«-hS^r?he several ves- 
number j-"-"- ^^^ 

^^llso, thinks the ^etachmenton^^^^^^^ 
west^s^de ^^--^\^irer before the ^ort 

wa\ evacuated detachments had 

'"lllo, that t)oth deta^^^ ^.orsemen. 

artillery and he n 

t-^,so. says Ohed Cushman wa^s^h^ 

was all cuL +vif»t 

"^=r'- Macomher ^-"-Jea^S '- 

S --rSe'fi-lhg privateers 
He thinks the I ^^^igd from 

^ere owned. Attea 


here: SIood Providence ( Stod- 
dard's father was in her) Fair- 
field, Revenue, Hornet. Don't 

know how many were in port at the 

Mr. Macomber is very intelligent 
for a man of his age and has a good 
memory. The facts above stated so 
far as they relate to himself, to what 
took place on the east side of th^ 
river during the night of the landing, 
what fell under his observations on 
the west side relating to the conflagra- 
tion, and the death of the three men 
which he saw in the road where they 
fell the next inorning, are personally 
known to him. and that the others: 
were told him on his return and ar 
various times afterwards by those wno 
saw them hero^ and by the prisoners 
who returned from the British. 

He states that he cannot be mis- 
taken as to a part of the troops land- 
ing on the east side, that it looks as 
plain to him as if it was but yesterday 
and that the whole scene is constantly 
on his mind and before him. 

restored as also his liberty by the 
general of whom he spoke well. 

Statement of Perry Kiisscll. 

Eldad Tupper and Joseph Cas:le 
resided in Dartmouth. They were 
Tories and were driven out of town 
by the Akins. Capt. Elihu Akins, 
father of Jacob, Abraham, etc., was a 
strong Whig, in consequence of which 
they joined the British and piloted 
them into Padanaram. They burnt 
Capt. Elihu Akins's house and a new 
brig on the stocks. Inquire of Caleb 
Shearman. Don't know whether it was 
at the time Bedford was burnt or not. 
Perry Russell says he has seen Caleb 
who says they burnt Capt. 
Akins's and Capt. Elihu Akins's dwel- 
ling houses and a new brig on the 
stocks the next morning after they 
burnt Bedford. They went in with 
two row-gallies. 

Seth Tallman says he can remember 
when there were but five houses in the 
village but can't tell which they are. 

Timothy Tallman. 

Says his father's name was Tim, 
that he was commissary, that on the 
day of the landing he was at Horse 
Neck and rode in P miles in 45 min- 
utes, just past the British at the cove. 
His family had got one load of goods 
back to farm-house, rest were destr Dy- 
ed. His house stood where Barrows' 
store now is on corner Third and 
Union. He was afterward taken pri- 
soner at farm-house, his knee buckles 
and shoe buckles were taken, his 
favorite horse taken, but afterward 

Caleb Shearman, 80 years old 
March 15, 1840. British fleet came up 
the bay Saturday afternoon. Sunday 
morning several barges came around 
to Padanaram and burnt Elihu Akins's 
house, the father of Abram, a two 
story house, standing where Akins's 
house now stands. Also James Akins's 
house, brother of Elihu and father 
of Justin Akins, set on fire, stood 
where John Rushforth, Sr., stands. 
Set on fire the Meribah Akins house, 
called the Stone House. Reuben Smith 
lived there, and his wife (an Irish 
woman) put it out several times. Also 
burnt a brig on the stocks ready +o 
launch, owned by Elihu Akins. 
Richard Shearman, reputed father of 
Nathaniel Sherman, and Joseph Castle 
and Elded Tupper were Tories and 
went off with the British. The two first 
were pilots, (b) 

Old Fort, or Russell's Garrison, up 
where Thacher's ship yard was 2-3 the 
way to head of river — fort opposite 
was on the Pardon Sanford lot. 

John Hathaway. 8 5 in November, 
18.j9, lived in New Bedford since a 
boy. He was an apprentice to Thomas 
Hathaway, a boat builder who lived 
on the Nash farm, afterwards moved 
down town and lived in James Davis' 
house whilst building the Gideon 
Howland house. Made whale boats for 
Joseph Rotch. I was whaling summer 
ijefore the war and arrived home in 
sloop about 75 tons, the fall before 
the war was declared. Sloop Friend- 
ship, Capt. William Claggon. Seth 
Russell, Danie! Smith. William Clag- 
gon, Joseph Rotch, Joseph Russell, 
carried on whaling, brought blubber in 
in scuttled hogsheads, I enlisted in Capt 
Thomas Kempton's (afterwards col- 
onel) company volunteers and went to 
Boston in May, 1775. Stayed there 8 
months. Then came home, joined 
militia 3 months and served in Boston 
February, March and April, 1776, un- 
der Capt. Benjamin Dillingham of 
Acushnet. Went on board Privateer 
brig Rising Empire, 16 carriage gun.-? 
(States vessel) built in FairhaveTi. 
Was in her 4 months, she was in com- 
mission but 2 months. She would not 
sail. Richard Welden, a Vineyard man, 
commanded her, took no prizes in her. 
In fall of 1776 enlisted on board of the 
sloop Broom. Capt. Welden (the same 
as above). Was out only 11 days and 
took 3 prizes and brought them in 
here, one ship and two brigs, loaded 
with sugar, wine and mahogany, right 
from Jamaica, think these vessels were 
all burnt. Took one brig three days out 
and the other two vessels five days 

(b) The Pv-ushforth house is in Padanaram, next south of the southeast corner 
of Elm and Prospect streets. 


out, which was Sunday morning, no 
gun fired. Broom had 60 men, 70 or 
80 tons. Afterwards the same fall, 
went on board sIood Sally, 115 ton;?, 
of 10 guns and 60 men. Francis 
Broom, master of Connecticut, owned 
by Broom & Sears of Connecticut, 
same as owned the Broom. Was on 
board the Sally from November, 177P, 
to February, 1777, cruising all the 
time: took two prizes, one brig and 
one schooner fisherman which was 
sent in somewhere to the east, had no 
engagement. During the cruise fell in 
with ship and convoy (of 5 sails in 
sight) she was a ship and the 5 sails 
escaped. We fought her 1 V2 hours, 
had no one hurt. He hulled us. shot 
lodged in blankets in forecastle. We 
hauled off to stop leak and she made 
sail for her convoy. We afterwards 
went into Bay of Biscay and dogged a 
ship in night and got close to 64 gun 
ship, 2 decker, called None Such. 
We didn't think in the night she was 
a man-of-war. We made her in the 
night. She fired upon us from sunrise 
till 8 o'clock and when her shot nearly 
reached us we gave ourselves up. 
She carried us into Plymouth and I 
was a prisoner two years and three 
months in mill prison at a place close 
by Plymouth, was afterwards at How- 
land's Ferry. 

DTvelling Houses Burnt. 

Benjamin Taber 2 

Leonard Jarvis 1 

J. Lowden 1 

J. Gerrish 1 

W. Claggern 1 

V. Childs 1 

Jos. Rotch 1 

Jos. Rotch, Jr 1 

Jos. Russell 1 

SI10P.S, Etc. 

Isaac Howland's 

Distil-liouse 1 

Cooper's shop 1 

Ware houses 3 

Jos. Russell's 

Barn 1 

Shop 1 

Church's shop (shoe) 1 

J. R. S. 

Store 1 

Ware house (old) 2 

2 shops, small 2 

Candlehouse 1 

L. Kempton 1 


Rotch & Jarvis 15 

Shop 1 

Warehouse 2 

Jos. Rotch 

Barn 1 

Chaise house 1 

Rope Walk and 1 house 
A. Smith blacksmith shop. 
Benjamin Taber's shop. 

SliiiKs Rurut, Sept. 177S by the British 

Ship Harriet. 

Ship Mellish (Continental). 

Ship Fanny French Prize. 

Ship Heron. 

Ship Leppard. 

Ship Spaniard. 

Ship Caesar. 

Barque Nanny. 

Snow, Simeon. 

Brig Sally (Continental). 

Brig Rosin. 

Brig Sally (Fish). 

Schooner Adventure. 

Schooner Loyalty (Continental). 

Sloop Nelly. 

Sloop Fly (Fish). 

Sloop, Capt. Lawrence. 

Schooner Defiance. 

Scliooner, Capt. Jenney. 

Brig No Duty on Tea. 

Schooner Sally (Hornet's Prize). 

Sloop Bowers. 

Sloop Sally, 12 guns. 

Brig Ritchie. 

Brig Dove. 

Brig Holland. 

Sloop Joseph R. 

Sloop Roxiron. 

Sloop Pilot Fish. 

Brig Sally. 

Sloop Retaliation. 

Sloop J. Browa's. 

Scliooner Eastward. 


Old Buildings in New Bedford 

Described by Henry Howland Crapo 

On the northwest corner of Union 
and Sixth streets was a house owned 
and occupied by Caleb Greene, the 
most westerly one at the time, it being 
the present John Bailey house. Greene 
was an apothecary and occupied one 
of the stores in the building which 
was burnt on the corner of Union and 
Water streets, near the present sho^j of 
E. Thornton, Jr. He was the son-in-law 
of Joseph Russell, the first man in 
the place. His fainily averaged 21 

A house owned and occupied bv 
Humphrey Howland, situate next 
east of the last, and being the house 
now belonging to Wm. Howland, 2d., 
and his mother. He was the son of 
Isaac Howland. Sr.. and the brother 
of the late Isaac Howland, Jr. He ^vas 
a merchant, tended store occasionally 
— worked in the candleworks som^, 
etc. He was rich. 

A brick house, owned and occupied 
by Isaac Howland, Sr., standing next 
east of the last and where Cheapside 
block now is. He was a merchant and 
had two sloops out whaling at the 
commencement of the war. 

A house occupied by Richard Bent- 
ley, a Scotchman, being the present 
Wm. Tobey house on the Northwest 
corner of Union and Purchase streets. 
He owned a little schooner and fol- 
lowed coasting along shore in her. 

A house owned and occupied by 
Stephen Potter, the husband of Lydia 
Potter, now living on Kempton street, 
stood (a) next west of the last and 
directly opposite the Eagle Hotel. It 
was one story and very old at the time. 
This house was moved to Kempton 
street, No. 152, and called the Harper 
House. Potter was a journeyman 

A house built by Elihu Gifford, 
father of the present Abraham Gifford, 
standing west of the preceding. Elihu 
Gifford sold it. Don't know who liv^ed 
in it — it is the Jeremiah Mayhew 
house, now standing (b). 

A house owned and occupied by 
Barney Russell, son of Joseph, stand- 
ing on the north east corner of Union 

and Purchase, occupying the present 
site of the Dr. Reed house. This is 
the house now owned by Edward Stet- 
son, on Purchase street, having been 
moved there. Barney Russell was a 
merchant. He had three or four sloops 
whaling and several West India men. 

A house owned and occupied o.v 
Joseph Rotch. and now occupied by 
Hannah Case (c). 

It was the first house he built after 
coming from Nantucket. He was the 
grandfather of the present Wm. Rotch, 
Jr., and died in this house. Before 
moving here he examined the depth of 
water in the harbor, etc. He was a 
shoemaker by trade, but never car- 
ried it on here. After the village was 
burnt he moved to Nantucket, but re- 
turned again at the close of the war. 

A occupied by Avery Parker, 
as a public house, on the north east 
corner of Bethel and Union streets, 
being the same in which Snell's fruit 
shop now is. He was the grandfather 
of the present Elisha Parker, was a 
house wright by trade and kept a 
public house in this building during 
the war. 

A two story store standing on the 
four corners where Allen Kelly now 
keeps. It was occupied as a variety 
store — groceries, dry goods, etc., and 
was owned by Seth Russell, senior. It 
was the same building recently stand- 
ing on Whittemore lot, near his soap 
works, and now moved south. (The 
Russell store stood on the northwest 
corner of Water and Union streets.) 

A long store one and one-half 
stories high, fronting west and occu- 
pied by Joseph Russell, son of Caleb, 
senior, who subsequently moved to 
Boston. He was the half brother of 
Caleb, Jr. (Caleb Sr. was the father of 
the present Reuben.) The south part 
of this building was occupied by Jo- 
seph Russell, as aforesaid, as a gro- 
cery store including rum, etc. The 
north part by Caleb Greene as an 
apothecary shop. The part next south 
of the last by Charles Church, shoe- 
maker. (This building stood on the 

(a) On the lot of Eddy building. 

(b) The east part of the Masonic building stands on this site. 

(c) Stood on the northwest corner of Union and Bethel streets. 


(See Page 17.) 


northeast corner of Water and Union 
streets) and was burnt by the Brit- 

A gambrel roofed house, standing 
where the William Russell paint shop 
now stands on the northwest corner 
of Union and Orange streets, owned 
and occupied by Benjamin Taber, Sr., 
(the father of Benjainin Taber, Jr. 
who removed from Acushnet to Illi- 
nois.) Taber was a boat builder and 
pump and block maker, and his shop 
stood in the rear, or to the north of 
this house. The latter was burnt by 
the British (d). 

The present dwelling house on the 
southwest corner of Fifth and Union 
streets was built and occupied by 
John Wiliams, a saddle and harness 
maker. His shop was adjoining the 
house on the west. 

The house now occupied by Elisha 
W. Kempton, called the West house 
(e) was built and occupied by Gamal- 
iel Bryant, Sr., grandfather of the 
present Frederick. He was a house- 
wright. He sold the house after- 
wards to Captain Elisha West, who 
moved here from Holmes' Hole. 

A house, being a part of the pres- 
ent Eagle Hotel, built by Elihu Gif- 
ford, who occupied it at his 
time, but afterwards sold it to Isaac 
Howland, Jr. Gifford was a house 
carpenter by trade, but worked at 
anything. (Eagle Hotel was on south- 
west corner of Union and Fourth 

The one-story house now standing 
on southeast corner of Union 
and Fourth streets, and east of the 
Eagle Hotel, owned and occupied by 
John Atkins, until his death. He was 
a cooper by trade, but did not carry it 
on since I can remember; he fol- 
lowed the seas. He was the son-in- 
law of Caleb Russell, Senior, and the 
husband of Peace Akins, whom Gil- 
bert attempted to carry from Joseph 
Russell's, etc. 

The house now standing on the 
southwes* corner of Union and Third 
streets, the basement being now oc- 
cupied by Noah Clark as a grocery, 
was occupied and owned by Daniel 
Ricketson, father of the present Jo- 
seph. He was a cooper by trade, and 
married the eldest daughter of Jo- 
seph Russell. 

A house on the southeast corner 
of Union and Third streets, where 
Barrows's store now stands, owned 
and occupied by William Tallman, 
father of the present William. He 
was a merchant tailor, and his shop 
was at the corner of Orange and 
Centre . treets. He owned a 
farm up north, etc. This house 
is the west part of the pres- 
ent Calvin B. Brooks house (on south- 

west corner of Walnut and Water 

A long block of shops, one story 
high, opposite the Mansion House, 
and extending eastward along the 
south side of Union street to First 
street. They were occupied as a bar- 
ber's shop, tailor's shop, shoemaker's 
shop, etc. The whole block was 
burnt by the British. 

The house on the southwest cor- 
ner of Union and South Water streets, 
being the Martha Hussey building, 
was owned and occupied by Elnathan 
Samson, who was a blacksmith. His 
shop stood at the west of the house. 

A house (now occupied by Robert 
Taber as a tavern) standing on the 
southeast corner of Union and South 
Water streets, built, owned and oc- 
cupied by Simeon Nash (father of the 
present Thomas and Simoen), who 
was a housewright. 

A house on the edge of the bank, 
standing about where Bates & Has- 
kins paint shop is, owned and occu- 
pied by William Myricks, who died 
in it. He was a cooper and the 
brother of Benjamin, who was 
drowned in getting up cannon oppo- 
site Crow island. They have left no 
posterity. (It stood on the south side 
of Union, about 50 feet west of 

A house on Third street (the Phil- 
ips house, corner of Third and Mar- 
ket square), one story high, built and 
occupied by Ishmael Tripp, a cooper, 
and the grandfather of the present 
Ishmael. It has recently been raised 
up two stories and repaired. 

A house in front of the present 
dwelling house of William Bliss, on 
Third street, standing within the pres- 
ent lines of Third street. This house 
wasi owned by Joseph Rotch, and occu- 
pied by Thomas Miles, who was a 
rope-maker and worked for said 
Rotch in his rope-walk, the west end 
of which was near this house. Miles 
came from Boston. The house was 
burnt by the British (f). 

A house standing on the site of the 
old market, owned and occupied by 
Joseph Austin, a hatter, whose shop 
stood on First street, near Union. This 
shop was subsequently bought by 
William Biiss and formed a part of 
his present dwelling house, (g) 

The house was moved south to thj 
John Coggeshall lot and is the sam-i 
that was recently occupied by Alfred 
Kendrick being No. 2 3 South Second 
street, (h) 

A house built and occupied by Silas 
Sweet, a blacksmith, being the 
"George Dunham house," and now oc- 
cupied by Geo. W. Sherman. Sweet 
sold out and moved to the state of 
New York, (i) 

(d) Orange was the first name of Front street. 

(e) Next west of Ricketson's block. 

(f) William Bliss built the smaller house on the west side of Acushnet avenue, 
the third south of the corner of Russell street. 

(g) The old market was the central police station of 190S. 
(h) Northwest corner of Second and School. 

(i) Northwest corner Spring and South Second streets. 


(See Page 17.) 


A house built and occupied by 
James Davis until his death. He was 
a tanner and currier. This house stooil 
on the east side of South Second str-^et, 
opposite the Market — had a gambrel 
roof and is now owned by Bethuel 
Penniman. (j) 

A handsome two story house, built, 
owned and occupied by Wm. Claggon, 
master mariner, standing on the west 
side of Water street, and a little north 
of the Cory tavern. This house was 
burnt by the British, and stood at the 
head of Commercial street, next north 
of the brick house. 

A house standing obliquely with 
Water street, on the west side thereof, 
at the head of Commercial street and 
partly upon the present site of the 
Cory tavern and partly upon that of 
the Hill house, two story in front and 
one in rear. This house was built and 
occupied by John Louden, formerly of 
Pembroke. He was a ship-carpenter, 
and carried on ship building here. His 
ship yard was on the east side of 
Water street, northeast from (now) 
Cole's stable and tavern and between 
Water street and the present Comm^^r- 
cial and Steam Boat wharves. Louden 
kept a public house here at the time. 
This house was burnt by the British. 
Louden moved back to Pembroke soon 
after the war. 

A house built and occupied by 
David Shepherd, a cooper, standing 
on South Water street, at the north- 
west corner of School street, now 
standing and known by the name of 
the "Shepherd House." He carried or 
more business (coopering) than any 
other person here. 

The present Gideon Howland House, 
three stories high, standing on the hill, 
southwest corner of South Water and 
School streets. This house was oc- 
cupied by Thomas Hathaway, who 
built it. He was a boat builder subsf- 
quently to the landing of the British 
moved up to the house, now called the 
"Nash Home." Immeditely after the 
landing of the British it was let by 
Mr. Hathaway to one Job Anthony lor 
a rendezvous. The officers of the sloop 
Providence and other armed vessels, 
quartered in a part of this house when 
in port, (k) 

The house built and occupied by 
John Howland, the father of the late 
Resolved Howland, by his first wif3, 
the daughter of David Smith, of Dart- 
mouth, and of John and James How- 
land by his second wife, the daughte" 
of David Shepherd. He was both a 
merchant and mariner. This is tne 
house now occupied by Reliance How- 
land, No. 45 South Water street (and 
stood on the west side of Water, next 
south of the corner of School). 

The Fitch House, so called, now 
standing at the south west corner of 

Water and Walnut streets. This house 
was built by Joseph Rotch for Griffin 
Barney, senior, who occupied it at the 
time the British troops landed, etc. 
GrifRn Barney, Jr., (the late Griffin 
Barney) was not married at the time 
and lived here with hia father. The 
elder Griffin was boss of the rope 
walks owned by Joseph Rotch (being 
the only ones then in the place) which 
were burned and carried on business 
in the same. 

The brick house, now standing on 
South Water street, between Walnut 
and Madison streets. This house was 
built and occupied by Charles Hud- 
son, (a) a mason who moved after- 
wards to Newport, R. I. He built the 
house himself. 

The James Allen house (d), so called, 
standing next south of the last. Don't 
know who bviilt this house (aa) — it is 
very old. It was occupied by Wally 
Adams, the father of the present 
Thomas. Adams did not own it — 
he occupied it as a boarding house — 
don't know his occtipation. 

The "Wm. Russell house," near the 
foot of School street, built by William 
Russell, Sr., who always lived in it. 
He was a cooper and carried on the 
business a while. 

A house built and occupied by John 
Gerrish, as a public house, standing 
where Cole's tavern now stands. Tliis 
was burnt by the British. After the 
war Gerrish built the present hou&e 
on the same cellar.' He was a pump 
and block maker (b). 

A small gambrel roofed house, built 
and occupied by John Chaffy, standing 
on the lot next north of the John 
Howland house, and on the lot after- 
wards owned by Alex. Howard. Chaffy 
was a refiner of oil in the candleworks 
and the first man here at that busi- 
ness. He stole the art from an English- 
man. He worked in the candle-house 
belonging to Joseph Russell, on Centre 
street whilst he was in company with 
Isaac Howland. This was all the 
candle-house at the time. A short 
time before the British burnt Russell 
& Howland had some difficulty and 
dissolved, Russell occupying the old 
works on Centre street and Howland 
building, etc. After the fire Chaffy 
was a constable, (c) 

A long building, 1 % stories high, 
standing on the site of the present 
yellow store. Commercial wharf. The 
west end of this was occupied as a 
distillery (to make N. E. rum of 
molasses, etc.) by Isaac Howland, Sr. 
The east end was occupied by Howland 
as a candleworks. This building was 
erected by Isaac Howland after the 
dissolution of copartnership between 
him and Joseph Russell and was the 
second candlehouse in town, etc. This 

(j) Next south of southeast corner of Union and Second streets, 
(k) The Howland house was build about 1795 after Thomas Hathaway had 
sold the house that he had erected. 

(a) Edward Hudson. 

(aa) Moses Grinnell, 1778. 

(b) This house stood on east side of Water street at the foot of Spring. 

(c) This house stood on the northeast corner of South Water and Commercial 

(d) James Allen was a tailor. 


(See Page 21.) 


building was burnt by the British to- 
gether with a large quantity of N. E. 
rum. Russell being a Quaker was op- 
posed to distilleries, (d) 

The house next north of Hannah 
Case's and now occupied by Walter 
Chapman built and occupied by 
Charles Church, who was drowned 
near Crow Island, say 30 years of 
age. He was a shoeinaker. (e) 

The house next north of the last 
and now occupied by the Rev. Mr. 
Mudge. It was built and occvipied by 
Col. Edward Pope, the collector who 
subsequently sold it to William Hay- 

A small ga.mbrel roofed house stand- 
ing upon the present site of the Bethel. 
It was built by Tim. Ingraham (grand 
father of the present Robert), who 
commanded the fort. His son, Timothy, 
the father of Robert, was a barber and 
his shop was in the long string of 
buildings or stores, on the south side 
of Union street, between Second and 
First streets. This house was subse- 
quently pulled down. 

The house where Prescott's office 
new is — North Water street — was 
built by Seth Russell, Sr., and was oc- 
cupied by widow Doubleday, as al- 
ready stated. Mr. Russell lived in this 
house before the war. Upon the com- 
mencement of the war, he moved up 
to his farm, now owned by Timothy 
G. Coffin. This house was set on Are 
three different times by the British 
sodiers, which was as often extin- 
guished, in their presence by the 
heroic Mrs. D. Upon being asked by 
them if she were not afraid thus to 
oppose them, she fearlessly replied 
that she "never saw a man she was 
afraid of." This boldness so pleased the 
soldiers that they desisted from any 
further attempt to Are the house, 
which was accordingly saved, together 
with a large amount of goods then 
stored in the cellar — liquors, (f) 

A house standing next north of 
the last and separate from it by an 
alley. This house was one story and 
very old at the time. Don't know who 
built it. It was occupied during the 
v/ar by John Shearinan. father of the 
present Thurston Shearman. It was a 
long house with the end to the street 
and its front to the aforesaid alley or 
court. John Shearman was a black- 
smith. The house was called "the old 
Seth Russell house." 

A house next north of the last 
standing where the south part of the 
William H. Allen brick block now 
stands. It was built by Daniel Smith, 
who owned and occupied it. He was a 
tailor and had a small shop on the 
north side of "Main street" near 
where Nathl. Roger's barber's shop 
now is. This shop was not noted 

among the buildings on Union street. 
It was subsequently pulled down. 

A house next north of the last oc- 
cupying the site of the northerly part 
of the said William H. Allen brick 
block. It was built by Abraham Smith, 
who owned and occupied it. He was a 
blacksinith and his shop was on the 
north side of Centre street, a few rods 
east of Water street. He was the son 
of Jonathan Smith, living at the 
"north end" at this time. 

A one story, gambrel roofed house, 
standing at the north end of the pres- 
ent Commercial bank — on the hill. It 
was built, owned and occupied by 
Joseph Rotch, who came from the 
Vineyard. He was a master mariner 
and was called "Capt. Joseph Rotch." 
Burnt by British. 

A. large house 214 or 3 stories high, 
standing on the same cellar as the 
house recently occupied and now 
owned by William Rotch, Jr. It was 
built and owned by Joseph Rotch, the 
first settler. He lived in it after he 
left his old home, where Harriet Case 
now lives ,as already stated; but at 
the time of the British landing, he 
resided, Mr. Gilbert thinks, at Nan- 
tucket. The house at this time was oc- 
cupied by Joseph Austin, a hatter, 
who carried on the hatting business 
in a shop on Union street, which now 
forms a part of William Bliss' house, 
on Third street, (g) 

A house standing on North Water 
street, on the north side of the lot 
occupied by the late Samuel Rodman, 
and near the edge of the bank between 
this lot and the present Benj. Rodman 
lot. It was built by James Smith, who 
occupied it — and was pulled down 
some 20 years since. Mr. Smith was 
a cooper and "carried on the busi- 
ness." Some say this is the "oldest 
house, etc." but Gilbert says the 
Loudon house is the oldest. James B. 
Congdon says this house was built by 
his grand-father, Benj. Taber, etc. (h) 

A woolen, one story building 
standing partly where Mark B. Pal- 
mer's shop now is, and thence extend- 
ing easterly to the "Horton Bake 
House." This was built by Joseph 
Russell and occupied as a candle- 
house by him and Isaac Howland, who 
were in company during the com- 
mencement of the war. But having 
some little difficulty they dissolved, 
upon which Isaac built the other, 
which he had occupied as a distillery 
and candleworks, but a short time 
when it was burnt by the British as 
before stated. This was the first candle 
works in town, and was occupied by 
Jos. Russell after the dissolution of 
copartnership, (i) 

A cooper's shop stood at the south- 
east corner of the last and belonged 
to Joseph Russell. 

^, } 3*^ ^*^°"^, ^^ock on north side of Commercial street is on the above site. 

(e) The Case house stood on the northwest corner of Union and Bethel. 

(t) At this date Judge Prescott's office was on the west side of North Water 

street next to the corner of Union, 
(g) The Rotch house stood on the southwest corner of Water and William 

streets. It is now the Mariners' Home on Bethel street, presented to the Port 

Society by Mrs. James Arnold, daughter of William Rotch, Jr., in 1851, and 

moved to its present location, 
(h) The Rodman house stood on the northwest corner of Water and William 

(i) It was located on the south side of Centre street half way between Water 

and Front. 


(See Page 25.) 


A boat builder's shop, standing upon 
the Dresent site of the store now oc- 
cupied by Daniel Perry, extending 
from the house on the corner north- 
erly to where Joseph Taber's shop 
now stands. It was a long building set 
in the bank two stories in front and 
one in rear. The first story was oc- 
cupied as a pump and block maker's 
shop, and the second story as a boat- 
builder's shop, which was long en- 
ough to set up three boats in a string. 
The whole was carried on by Benj. 
Taber, Sr., who lived in the house ad- 
joining on the corner where the paint 
shop now stands. It was located on 
the west side of Front next north of 
the corner of Union, (j) 

A two story wooden store, standing 
on the present corner of Orange and 
Centre streets, and where the William 
Tallman brick store now is. It was 
built by William Tallman, Sr., and 
occupied by him as a grocery store in 
the first story, and as a merchant 
tailor's store in the second story. 

A store standing east of the last 
and where Orange street now runs, 
built and occupied by Joseph Russell. 
The front was two stories and the rear 
one. It stood into the bank of rock. 
The first story was occupied as a 
grocery and the second as a dry-goods 
store, and the whole was carried on 
by his son, Gilbert. This was burnt — 
goods principally saved. Some powder 
having been left it blew up with a 
great report. No one hurt. 

The "Try works," a building one 
story high — a sort of shed, etc., stood 
in front of the Joseph Russell house 
and nearly at the intersection of the 
present Orange and Centre streets, 
leaving a pas-way between it and the 
last. This belonged to Joseph Rus- 
sell and was used for trying out blub- 
ber, which was "brought in", in skut- 
tled hogsheads, in small vessels. Rus- 
sell was the only person who carried 
on the whaling business before the 

Think Russell had no vessel south 
of the Gulf Stream before the war. 
Try works burnt by British. 

The Joseph Rotch store stood some- 
where, Mr. Gilbert thinks, near the 
east end of the present Andrew Robe- 
son's candle works — but he cannot 
say exactly where. Joseph Rotch 
owned several vessels. Store burnt by 
the British, (a) 

The present Silas Kempton house, 
at southwest corner of North Second 
and Elm streets. It then stood in the 
pasture, or meadow. It was built and 
occupied by his father, Manassah 
Kempton, who was a shipwright. 

A house standing on the present 
High street, and a little to the west 
of the late Benjamin Kempton house 
at the corner of High and North Sec- 

ond street. This was an old one-story 
house and was built by Benj. Kemp- 
ton, senior, father of the late Ben- 
jamin Kempton. He was a caulker. 
This was one of the Asa Smith build- 
ings of Ark • memory — that is, it was 
moved east of William Ellis's house 
and burnt with the Ark. The Ark 
was the merchant brig, Indian Chief. 

House owned, occupied and built 
by Benjamin Butler, standing on the 
east side of Clarks Neck. Only house 
on the Point. Same house which Ju- 
dah Butler now lives in, and Benjamin 
was the father of Judah and he was 
a cooper. (b) 

A house standing at the present foot 
of Mill street on Ray street, east side, 
two-story house. Built by George 
East, who occupied it at that time 
and until his death. He was a ma- 
son and came from Rhode Island, (c) 

House standing where Third street 
now runs, immediately in front of 
the house where William Bliss now 
lives, (d) 

It was two stories and stood near 
the rope walk which occupied what is 
now Morgans Lane. The house in 
which Mr. Bliss now lives, or a part 
of it, was a hatter's shop and stood 
near the "four corners." This -"was 
first moved on the cellar of the above 
house, but subsequently, on the lay- 
ing out of Third street, moved back 
to its present site. In this shop John 
Coggeshall. Caleb Congdon and Cor- 
nelius Grinnell learned the hatter's 
trade. The shingles on the north end 
of this house were put on before the 

The long one-story house built, 
owned and occupied until he died, by 
Jonathan Smith, stood next south of 
the present (e) Amos Simmons store 
on North Second street. He was the 
grandfather of Asa Smith. He was a 
blacksmith and his shop stood south 
of his house and where Jacob Par- 
ker now lives. This house was moved 
up to Nigger Town and is now cut 
in two and makes the two William 
Reed's houses west of Dudleys, (f) 

The two-story house corner of 
North Second and North street, now 
occupied by Amos Simmons. This 
was built, owned and occupied by 
Jonathan Russell, a cooper, who car- 
ried on cooping in the cellar. He was 
the brother of old William Russell. 
They came from Nantucket. (House 
now standing on northeast corner.) 

A one-story house built by George 
Glaggon, a shipwright, standing right 
east of the last house, fronting to the 
west. It is a part of the present house 
now standing there (the southwest 
part), now belonging to Andrew Robe- 
son. This gentleman was a colonel 
in the Revolutionary Continental army. 
After the war he was employed as 

(j) Front street was originally named Orange. Joseph Taber's shop is the 
.stone building- on the west side of Front street at the corner of Rose alley. 

(a) The liobeson candle works was the stone building on east side of Water 
street corner of Rodman street. 

(b) Standing on the south side of Butler street now East French avenue. 

(c) Ray street is now Acushnet avenue. 

(d) The third house on the west side of Acushnet avenue south of Russell street. 

(e) This stood near North street. 

(f) This was Chepachet. 


(See Page 2 7.) 


head boss of the yard to build the 
frigate Constitution and for that pur- 
pose moved his whole family to Bos- 
ton. He subsequently moved back 
again and after moved to Rehoboth. 
Peter Lev/is's wife of this town was 
his daughter. Building the Constitu- 
tion spoilt him. 

A house now belonging to and occu- 
pied by Susan Maxfleld, standing on 
the northwest corner of North Second 
and North streets. It was built by 
Patrick Maxfield, the son of Timothy 
Maxfield, Sr., who lived in Dart- 
mouth. Patrick was a master mariner 
and uncle of the present Humphrey 
Maxfield. He has no posterity. 

A house on southwest corner of 
North Second and Maxfield streets, the 
present Humphrey Maxfield house. It 
was built by Zadoc Maxfield, who 
owned and occupied it. He was a 
cooper and worked in under part of 
it, where his son did. Humphrey was 
his youngest son. 

A one-story house on southwest cor- 
ner of Ray and North streets, now 
owned and occupied by James Bates. 
This was built, owned and occupied 
by Jabez Hammond, Sr. He was a 
cooper and worked in cellar or base- 
ment part of it. He was father to 
John Gilbert's wife and came from 
Mattapoisett. Old John Chace's wife 
was this man's sister, making John 
Gilbert's wife own cousin to my grand- 

A one-story house on the west side 
of Ray street, now standing and oc- 
cupied by Asa Dillingham, (on the 
northwest corner of Ray and Max- 
field.) Don't know who built it. 
James Chandler owned and occupied 
it. He was an Englishman. He was 
the grandfather of Thomas R. Chand- 
ler, who lived, with William Rotch. He 
was a shoemaker and worked in base- 
ment. He was a soldier during the 

A small house now standing on Ray 
street and next north of the last. It 
was built, owned and occupied by 
Thomas West, a very old man at the 
time and did not work. Think he was 
the grandfather of John P. West. 

A small one-story house standing 
west of the last (being the house on 
Purchase street below the bank). It 
was built by Simeon Price, Sr., father 
of the present Simeon. He lived in 
it and owned it. He was a cooper, I 
think. (1) 

A two-story house in front and 
one-story in rear, on southeast cor- 
ner County and Cove streets, front- 
ing south and standing on the same 
cellar as the present Cove House. Was 
built by Benjamin Allen, grandfather 
of the present Humphrey Allen. He 
was a farmer. This house was af- 
terwards pulled down. 

The present Timothy Akin's house. 
This was built, owned and occupied by 
Caleb Russell, Jr., the father of Reu- 
ben. He was a cooper, but followed 
farming during the war. (It stood 
on northwest corner County and 
Rockland streets.) 

The house west of the Seth Rus- 
sell new house and now occupied by 
Ichabod Coggeshall, was built, occu- 
pied and owned by old Caleb Russell. 
He was a farmer. (It was on the 
northwest corner County and Wash- 
ington streets.) 

A house on the corner of County and 
Allen, the present Ezekiel Tripp house. 
This was built, owned and occupied by 
James Allen, a farmer called "Lazy 
Jim," father of Abram and John. (It 
was opposite the Methodist church.) 

A small shop standing on the cor- 
ner of South Second and Union streets, 
where William Tallman's house now 
is. It was a dry goods store and oc- 
cupied by them. Gilbert thinks it not 
here till after the fire. This shop for- 
merly stood at the Tallman farm, was 
moved down here and afterwards 
moved back to the farm, and thence 
moved to east side Ray street, where 
the d>e establishment now is, and 
was then torn down and burnt up. 

A house standing on west side 
County street and near the present 
residence of Joseph Grinnell. It was 
two stories and was built and owned 
by Jonathan Smith, who lived on 
North Second street, as above stated. 
Don't know who lived in it. (g) 

An old house standing near where 
William R. Rotch's house now is, two 
stories in front and one in rear, front- 
ing south. John Akins occupied it. 
He was a cooper, but followed the 
seas, — master. The house belonged to 
Joseph Russell and was built by his 
father, whose name I think was Jo- 
seph and who was not living during 
the war. This was his homestead, 
one of the very oldest houses here, 

The house of Joseph Russell stood 
southeast of Charles W. Morgan's on 
the corner of County and Morgan 
streets, and is now owned by William 
Read, who moved it, as before stated. 
It was built by Colonel Samuel Wil- 
lis, a colonel in the French war, who 
was the father of Ebenezer, who lived 
by John A. Parker's present house. 
The son Ebenezer was a major in the 
militia in the first of the war. He 
was uncle to Pamelia Willis, now 
living, who was the daughter of Ji- 
reh Willis. 

The Russell house was the head- 
quarters of all gentlemen and troops 
during the war. There was no other 
suitable house for gentlemen to put 
up at. There were in the place three 
taverns, but they were rough places. 

(1) Demolished this winter, stood on site of new rink. 

(g) This was at the head of Kussell street. 

(h) This stood on west side of County street at head of Walnut street. 


(See Page 25.) 


A house near Kempton's corner, on 
west side County street, now occu- 
pied by Sylvia Hill, sister of Obed 
Kempton and married Captain Ben- 
jamin Hill, Sr. This house was built, 
occupied and owned by Eph. Kemp- 
ton, father of said Sylvia, who died in 
it. He was a shipwright and a caulk- 
er. The house was two stories in 
front and one in the rear, (and stood 
on northwest corner Kempton street). 

A house standing on the west side 
of County street and a little north of 
the David Kempton house, at the 
head of North street, two stories in 
front and one in rear. Eph. Kemp- 
ton, 2nd, owned in and lived in it. 
He was a farmer. Don't know the 
connection between him and Eph. 
Kempton, Sr. He was the father of 
the present Eph. Kempton. 

A house standing on Walden street, 
two stories in the front, west side 
stuccoed (think John Burgess lives in 
it). It was built by Colonel Thomas 
Kempton, in the Revolutionary army. 
He occupied it till his death. He 
served through the war. He was 
brother to Eph. Kempton, 2nd. 

An old house standing a little west 
of where John Avery Parker's house 
now stands, large two-story house. It 
was built by Ebenezer Willis, Sr., the 
colonel in the French war, and his son 
Ebenezer occupied it, and kept a pub- 
lic house in it. Probate courts were 

held in it. It was burnt during the 
war, but not by the English. It took 
fire from an old woman's pipe, a coal 
falling into some flax. A house was 
afterwards built by Ebenezer, Jr., on 
the same spot, which was recently 
moved onto Purchase street. Eben- 
ezer, Sr. and Jr., were both farmers. 
Ebenezer, Jr., was a major in the mi- 
litia in the first part of the war. 
Think this was the only fire before 
Abram Russell's. 

(Note: There is an error in this 
account. The first house was built 
by Colonel Samuel Willis, who died 
in 1765 and left the north third part 
of his farm between Franklin and 
Linden streets to his son Jireh, as 
suggested in the next paragraph, and 
the remainder to his son. Major Eben- 
ezer Willis. Neither had any sons.) 

A house standing at the crotch of 
the County road and Perry's Neck 
road and north of Robeson's , new 
house, called the old Willis house. It 
was occupied by Jireh Willis, a law- 
yer, and I think the only lawyer in 
the place. It was entailed, etc., said 
Jireh owning a life estate. Think it 
was built by his father, Ebenezer Wil- 
lis, Sr. (j) 

The Benjamin Rodman farm house 
on Purchase street, built, owned and 
occupied by Samuel West, father of 
Stephen West, the pound-keeper. He 
was a farmer, (k) 

(i) Next south of St. Lawrence church. 

(j) His father was Samuel and the house was on the northwest corner of 

County and Robeson street. Robeson's house was the stone dwelling owned 

later by Dr. H. M. Dexter, 
(k) It stood near the southwest corner of Purchase and Weld streets. 

I wish no other — but such an honest chronicler. " 



No. 24. 

Being the proceedings of the Sixth Annual Meeting of the Old Dartmouth 
Historical Society, held in their building, Water street. New Bedford, 
Massachusetts, on March 27, 1 909, and containing the following reports: 





DIRECTORS William Arthur Wing 

TREASURER William A. Mackie 

MUSEUM SECTION Annie Seabury Wood 


Henry B. Worth 


William Arthur Wing 


William Arthur Wing 

[Note. — The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the 
society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 



Old Dartmouth Historical Society 




MARCH 27, 1901). 

The sixth tmnual meeting of the Old 
Dartmouth Historical society was held 
March 27. at the building of the or- 

The following oHicers were elected: 

President — Edmund Wood. 

Vice Presidents — George H. Tripp 
Henry B. Worth. 

Treasurer — William A. Mackle. 

Secretary — William A. Wing. 

Directors (for three years) — Mrs. 
Clement N. Swift, Henry H. Rogers, 
Ellis L. Howland. 

President Wood's address was as 

The Old Dartmouth Historical so- 
ciety might, with accuracy, be de- 
scribed as that society which, while 
devoting Itself almost wholly to dead 
men and dead things, is itself very 
much alive. The past may be mouldy 
and the people dusty, yet to us they 
are full of a lively interest. 

The history of this township and 
the study of the lives and characters 
of its worthies still continue to at- 
tract us, and as we pass on tonight 

to another year of the society's life 
we are impressed not with our ac- 
complishments, but with the small- 
ness of the corner of this great field 
which we have already tilled. 

But we have some good workers 
among us, who are delving into the 
unexplored corners of our past with 
rich results, and we begin to have 
faith in the old prophecy as it ap- 
plies to Old Dartmouth — 'there is 
nothing covered which shall not be 
revealed, neither hid that shall not 
be known.' 

The most notable results of the 
past year are the revelations con- 
tained in that most remarkable col- 
lection of historical facts found in the 
manuscripts of our former townsman, 
the Hon. Henry H. Crapo. It is im- 
possible to overestimate the value and 
importance of these new contribu- 
tions to our knowledge. I will not 
review them, for you have all read 
them as they appeared regularly in 
the columns of our morning news- 
paper. They had been clearly ar- 
ranged and annotated by the chair- 
man of our research committee, Mr. 

other papers, of great interest and 
value, have been prepared and read 
at the several meetings duiing the 
year, and these all have appeared in 
the printed bulletins of the society. 

We have continued to enjoy our 
richest life in this new convenient 
home, which is constantly being orna- 
mented and made more instructive by 
the enthusiastic work of our museum 
committee and by the liberal gifts of 
our members and friends. More and 
more as time passes individuals come 
to realize that this is the appropriate 
and fitting home for their own an- 
cestral treasures. Here they are fit- 
tingly displayed, with the names of 
the donors, and here they are studied, 
admired and appreciated by hundreds 
of sympathetic visitors. 

It isn't often that a building erect- 
ted for business offices lends itself so 
graciously to the uses of new tenants 
with different aims and purposes. 
When we entered in upon the enjoy- 
ment of this gift we found already 
erected in the vestibule two marble 
memorial tablets waiting to be suit- 
ably inscribed with appropriate le- 
gends. These have lately been pre- 
pared, and tonight you have been 
properly received and guided at our 

On one of these tablets the visitor 
can read: 

"On this site in ISO:] was erected 
the building of the Bedford bank, the 
first financial institution of Bristol 
county. Here for nearly a century, 
in the centre of the mercantile and 
commercial activity of New Bedford, 
the banking business was conducted." 

On the other tablet is the follow- 

"Old Dartmouth Historical society, 
incorporated 1903. This building was 
erected by the National Bank of Com- 
merce, 1884. Donated to the society, 

In the early history of the 
settlers in this region we can well im- 
agine that living was quite primitive. 
The struggle with an vmgenerovis soil 
and a rigorous climate was real and 
unremitting and the venturous voy- 
ages in small vessels were full of hard- 
ship. It would not be expected in those 
first 100 years that the arts and 
sciences would find a footing — or that 
the softer side of our nature would 
receive much nourishment. But it is 
sure that as whaling developed into 
a leading industry — and as the voy- 
ages extended to foreign seas and un- 
civilized islands the fireside tales of 
our ancestors were full of romance 
and the imaginations of the youth 
were richly fed and sufficiently excited. 
Soon the commerce which had to fol- 
low the world wide demand for the 
oil, broadened the horizon and gave 

abundant mental stimulus to the larger 
portion of this whoJ-j community. 

Now were born conditions in which 
literature and art might find a fitting 
soil and take root. Whether it ma- 
tured and flourished or not depended 
in large measure whether the bud- 
ding artistic imagination encountered 
the cooling and quieting winds of 
Dartmouth Quakerism. Art must then 
be colorless and the imagination 
chastened and subdued. No one since 
ever know the flaming red buds of 
poetic and artistic promise born and 
fostered by the extreme romanticism 
of family travel and adventure which 
faded into gray with the maturer ex- 
ample and teaching of friendly en- 

But some found a stimulating at- 
mosphere and landscapes in which 
nature's brilliant coloring was recog- 
nized and admired. 

Fairly early in the last century our 
captains brought home oil portraits of 
themselves painted abroad and soon 
we had native talent attempting severe 
portraiture. It was not long before 
these local painters felt the stronger 
and more romantic call of the sea — 
and of the life of those who go down 
to it in ships, and we begin to find 
sketches of the shore and ships, the 
wharves and the boats. 

At last some sailor himself be- 
comes tlie artist — or the artist goes a 
voyage for the experience, and then 
we have a portrayal of the actual ex- 
citements of hunting the whale — the 
chase, the harpooning and the cap- 
ture. The inost spirited illustrations of 
whaling as a sport, and the most ac- 
curate Eire found among the some- 
times crude etchings on whale's teeth. 
Some of these are remarkable repre- 
sentations, and many valuable speci- 
mens can be found in our collections 
now in this building. 

It often happened on ship-board 
that the member of the crew who de- 
veloped a talent for drawing became 
a favored individual who was relieved 
from standing watch and worked dur- 
ing the day in carving or etching in 
ivory for the captain — or pricking in 
India ink a spirited sketch of a whale's 
dying flurry upon the bared forearm of 
a mate. 

The first local artist who produced 
finished pictures of actual scenes of 
whaling was Benjamin Russell of New 
Bedford. Some of his best pictures 
have been lithographed and thus given 
a wide circulation. Some of the most 
popular of these were entitled "The 
Chase," "The Capture," "A Ship on the 
Northwest Coast Cutting in Her Last 
Right Whale," "Whaling in all its 

Mr. Wood said that Russell's pano- 
rama of a whaling voyage was still in 


existence in tliis city, and expressed 
the hope that it might be revived for 
a presentation ijefore the members of 
the society. 

Last year, many years after Ben- 
jamin Russell's death, continued the 
speaker, three of his original fin- 
ished drawings came into the market 
and were held at prices which would 
have delighted and flattered the artist 
during his life time. One of these pic- 
tures has been purchased by W. W. 
Crapo, and presented to the society. 
It is one which perhaps has the most 
interest as a picture to hang in a his- 
torical society. The scenes represented 
by the artist is the burning of the 
whale ships by the Shenandoah. Sun- 
day we shall have read in this room a 
paper on the events which led up to 
the court of the Alabama claims — a 

most interesting and exciting chapter 
in this city's history. Then, with that 
recounting we shall realize the his- 
torical value of this picture — and the 
true appreciationof its value, and the 
foresight on its liberal donor. 

Benjamin Russell was a good 
draughtsman and remarkably well in- 
formed on the details of the subjects 
which he painted. He had not much 
knowledge of technique or of values, 
but his composition was excellent. 
His painting of water is never artistic. 
But he was inspired in his art by tho 
artistic value of the familiar scenes 
connected with his native city and he 
has represented with fidelity and 
talent scenes and events which were 
unique at the time and which make 
his work of unusual value to the stu- 
dents of Old Dartmouth history. 

Report of the Directors 

By William Arthur Wing 

The Old Dartmouth Historical so- 
ciety again greets its members at its 
sixth annual meeting, the third held 
in its beautiful home. 

During the past year your sec- 
retary has as usual kept in touch with 
various other historical societies, an- 
cient and of highest standing, and 
wishes to express not only his pleasure 
but gratitude to them for the cour- 
tesies and cordial recognition extend- 
ed to this society, and to him. Our 
methods have been the subject of 
hearty commendation and approval in 
many ways most gratifying — and we, 
too, have much to learn from them 
and ma.v well follow in their footsteps 
in many directions. 

There is only one — it hardly can 
be called unpleasantness, rather an in- 
con\enience — and it seems to obtain in 
most historical societies — carelessness 
about paying annual dues (only $1 a 
year), and no society offers more at- 
tractions than this. 

E\er.\- membership card contains 
the legend, prominently placed: "Read 
this card carefully and keep it as a re- 
ceipt." If you will only heed this to 
the letter, you can always tell when 
your membership money is due, and 
pay accordingly. Notice in regard to 
dues is placed on the postal notices of 

each quarterly' meeting — "lest we for- 

New members are joining, Init 
death claims from our ranks these, 
whom we shall ever hold — 

In Memoriam — Elizabeth Williams 
Braley, Albion Turner Brownell, W'm. 
H. Carney, H. Wilder Emerson, Myra 
Norton Haskins, John Jay Hicks, Dr 
Frederic H. Hooper, Frederick N. Gif- 
ford. Frederic Sumner Potter, Mrs. 
Alfred Nye, Helen Howland Pres- 
cott (a life member), Eleanor Mas- 
ters Read. Dr. John Cook Shaw, Han- 
nah Mary Stowe. George Howland 
Wady, Martha Jefferson Waite (a life 
member), William Ricketson Wing. 

The executive board have met as 
occasion required. The secretary will 
always gratefully remember one such 
meeting so full of kindly fellowship 
and cordial appreciation of his 
ser\ices. A recent writer has aptb' 
expressed our feelings, in saying: "It 
is commendable to cherish the home 
towns among the home-people. If 
there were shrines at such jilaces we 
would visit them. There is an urgenc\- 
to recognize shrines." 

Respectfully submitted, 

William Arthur Wing. 


Report of the Treasurer 

By William A. Mackie 

The treasurer's report was presented 
by William A. Mackie, as follows: 

"William A. Mackie, treasurer in ac- 
count, with Old Dartmouth Historical 


March 26, 190S. 

To Balance, $624.86 

Ijife memberships. 175.00 

Annual dues, 705.00 
Income, N. B. Lyceum fund, 129.00 

Memberships. 57.00 

Museum, 125.00 

Rebate tax, 50.44 

Publications, 22.40 


y museum. 






Repairs and improvements. 


Current expenses. 


N. B. Inst, for Sav. Life Mem. 





Respectfully submitted, 
WM. A. MACKIK, Treas 


Report of the Museum Section 

By Annie Seabury Wood 

The report of the museum section 
was presented by Mrs. Anna Seabury 
^Vood. as follows: 

The museum section herewith pre- 
sents its fifth annual report. At the 
first meeting of the section held dur- 
'ing the jear just closing we found 
that we had in our possession a fund 
which had accrued from entertain- 
ments and teas held the previous year 
amounting approximately to $140. 
The existence of this fund made the 
creation of a new officer necessary, 
and to fill that office Miss Florence 
L. Waite was elected treasurer. The 
greater part of the monei' has been 
expended for cases to hold the various 
exhibits of the society. 

W^ point \vith especial pride to 
the cases in the main room, the cost 
of which was $150. Of this amount 
$75 was paid from the fund of the 
museuin section, $25 from the fund of 
the society, and $50 was contributed 
by Mr. Oliver F. Brown. We take 
this occasion to make public acknowl- 
edgment of his kindness. 

The balance in our treasury at 
present is extremely small, and it is 
hoped that it may be substantially in- 
creased by an entertainment to be 
given in the Unitarian chape) on Pa- 
triots' Day, the 19th of April. The 
entertainment is to consist of a series 
of historic tableaux, which should be 
of interest to all members of the so- 

ciety and to all lovers of Old Dart- 

In addition to the regular teas 
held as usual each month through the 
v^inter, the entertainment committee 
has managed successfully an exhibi- 
tion of old prints, rare books and 
book plates, an exhibition of old 
china and a 'Breton Afternoon,' when 
Mrs. Clement N. Swift, in Bre'on cos- 
tume, read two delightful stories 
written by Clement N. Swift. 

We consider that the work of this 
committee has always played an im- 
portant part in arousing and main- 
taining public interest in the society, 
and we acknowledge with gratitude 
the services rendered by the com- 
mittee for 1908-1909: Miss Marv E. 
Bradford, Miss Elizabeth H. Swift. 
Mrs. Clement N. Swift. Mrs. Herbert 
E. Cushman, IMiss Mary K. Taber and 
Mrs. Edmund Wood. The last of the 
teas given under their auspices will 
be held on Saturday, April 3, and Sat- 
urday, May 1. 

During the year the value of the 
museum itself has been increased by 
many notable acquisitions, the enum- 
eration of which would be well-nigh 
impossible. The largest collection 
which has been added is one brought 
from the Philippines and loaned by 
Dr. Frederick A. Washburn. We are 
promised for the coming year the 
loan of a very good Alaskan collec- 

tion, wliich, in addition to the one 
we have already, should make our 
Alaskan room one of the best- 
equipped in the museum. 

We congratulate ourseh-es that 
more portraits are finding their way 
10 us, and pictures, some of them of 
historic interest and some the work 
of famous Old Dartmouth artists. Now 
and then pieces of rare old china are 
entrusted to our keeping, and bits of 
ivory, carved into curious shapes and 
polished by the skilful fingers of dead 
and forgotten seamen, are gathered 
in for us by our chairman, Frank 
Wood, or by Nathan C. Hathaway, 
who are always awake to their 

Photographs and colonial relics 
arouse the especial enthusiasm of Wil- 
liam A. Wing, and his aid in arrang- 
ing and caring for all our exhibits 

is simply invaluable. And so we 
ha\e grown into a museum to love 
and be proud of — a museum which 
adds dignity to our city of New Bed- 

We ha\e many ainbitions for the 
coming years, some of them perhaps 
never to be realized; but two things 
it is safe to say here we are prom- 
ising ourselves to do — one, to make 
our whaling exhibit as concise and 
complete as possible; the other, so to 
arrange and mark it as to make it of 
the greatest possible benefit in an 
educational way to our own peonle 
and to the many visitors, for whom it 
is the thing of all others in our mu- 
seum which they most desire to see." 
Respectfully submitted, 

Annie Seabury Wood, 


Report of the Historical Research Section 

By Henry B.Worth 

The method of many people in 
preparing historical works is to con- 
sult all possible books, make copi- 
ous extracts therefrom, and then in- 
terview all old people and pour to- 
gether the combined results and pre- 
sent the aggregation as history. Com- 
pilations froin jorinted works merely 
rearrange what is already prepared 
and add nothing to the store of his- 
torical knowledge, and often pro- 
duce mischievous results by copying 
the errors of former writers and per- 
petuating these mistakes. 

The testimony of old persons as 
to facts which have come within the 
range of their observation comprise 
an important contribution to the 
amount of historical knowledge and 
should not be under-estimated. A no- 
table example is a recent publication 
of this society of the labors of Henry 
H. Crapo, but the value of that work 
was largely due to the skilful man- 
ner in which the witnesses were in- 
terrogated and the results of their in- 
terviews stated. If the same men 
had been questioned by a less care- 
ful investigator, the results might have 
had no value. Dr. Leonard W. Bacon 
once said that he never stated a fact 
of history unless he had verified it 
by his own investigation. This re- 
m.ark was quoted to him a few months 

before his death and his character- 
istic reply is worth preserving: 'Yes, 
that is a very good rule if you don't 
want to be contradicted.' 

But original sources vary accord- 
ing to the subject under investiga- 
tion. It may be an old Bible, a grave- 
stone, an account book, letter, log- 
book, report, public record, will or 
deed. The cardinal rule followed by 
the courts of law is that written state- 
ments to be entitled to credit should 
be made at the time of the event by 
some person acquainted with the facts 
with no purpose to mislead or deceive. 
This involves several requirements, 
and one of the most important is that 
the individual shall be known. Un- 
signed statements are always open 
to the objection that there is no way 
to judge of their accuracy by know- 
ing the author. This is one of the 
defects in a very highly respected 
class of records, viz.: entries in old 
Bibles and inscriptions on tomb- 
numerous patriotic and historical so- 
cieties, like the Mayflower Descend- 
ants, Colonial Dames, Sons and Daugh- 
ters of the Revolution. In some cir- 
cles it is considered a high honor 
stones. At the present time there are 
to gain admission thereto, and so 
eager are many persons that they will 
furnish money without limit to obtain 

the prize. The temptation has led to 
the fabrication of pedigrees and gene- 
alogies and the production of fictitious 
evidence to comply with the require- 
ments. It would be entirely possible 
to place an entry in an old Bible, or 
to cut some inscription on a tombtsone 
with the expectation that the fraud 
would not be detected. 

In the old cemetery at the Head 
of the River at the grave of Dr. West 
is a fine marble stone. The original 
inscription was no doubt contem- 
poraneous with his death, and is on 
the face of the stone; but in one of 
the lower corners near the ground, 
in recent cutting, will be found the 
words 'See other side.' On the north 
side of the stone, also in recent cut- 
ting, will be found the statement that 
one Captain Francis West, the brother 
of the third Lord Delaware, came from 
England to Virginia in 1608; he had 
a son, not named, who had a son 
Thomas, a physician, who had a son, 
Sackfield, and Samuel West, D. D., 
was son of Sackfield West of Yar- 

It is not the precent purpose to 
state the objections that have been 
presented to this pedigree, but to call 
attention to the fact that here is a 
case where years after the death ol 
Dr. West and the erection of the tab- 
let, some person not known, inspired 
by a motive not apparent, has placed 
a modern inscription on the old tab- 
let, and when it is considered that 
the statements, could be preserved 
in many other ways equally perma- 
nent, the query arises as to the ob- 
ject of the person who resorted to this 
singular performance. 

In a burial lot in Freetown near 
the Acushnet line are some slate 
stones erected a few years ago, having 
several names on each; the purpose 
being to preserve the names of some 
of the family who might have been 
buried in that lot; but if in the future 
the inscriptions on these stones are 
taken as historic evidence. some 
troublesome discrepancies might be 
discovered between them and authen- 
tic records. Within a short time a 
published account has appeared relat- 
ing to a stone in the Rochester ceme- 
tery commemorating the deaths of 
Elnathan Haskell and his son, 
Nathan. The facts stated on this stone 
are in serious conflict with contempo- 
rary records, and somewhere there is 
a mistake. The most reasonable ex- 
planation is that the confusion was 
occasioned by the person who erected 
the gravestone, who may have had 
information of the facts stated. Thus 
the opportunities for fraud, as well as 
mistake, are much greater than might 
be supposed, and the most stringent 
proofs are now being insisted upon by 

the above-mentioned societies before 
applications are accepted. These re- 
quirements are fully met in the records 
of wills and deeds and for the pur- 
pose of local history they furnish the 
surest basis. 

Ultimately all history is only a 
record of the doings of inankind. Land 
is the most important thing to men 
outside of themselves; and conse- 
quently history is practically what 
men have done concerning land. All 
wars have their origin, progress and 
termination over questions of terri- 
tory. Every conflict between nations 
relates to, or Involves land, and is de- 
termined by the peculiarity of the re- 
gion over which the war is fought. 
Land transactions, therefore, in full 
and complete details, comprise the 
whole of the world's history, and 
form the basis of all that is real and 
certain in historical information, not 
only concerning states but equally 
true of individuals. In the flrst place 
every docuinent is signed by some per- 
son interested, and in the regular 
course of events is presented to a 
public official for record, and takes 
its place amf ng other documents of 
that date as a usual and regular pro- 

This kind of historical evidence 
becomes of the greatest value in this 
region because of the dominant con- 
trol of the Society of Friends during 
the flrst two centuries after its settle- 
ment. In relation to religion, educa- 
tion, politics and social customs this 
sect flrmly impressed its principles on 
this community. In 1851, for the flrst 
time, the New England yearly meeting 
permitted memorial tablets to be 
placed in burial places. Before that 
date none were allowed in any Quaker 
cemetery, and so subservient were the 
other inhabitants of Dartmouth, not 
affiliated with the Friends' meeting, to 
the principles of that society that 
there have not been found west of 
the Acushnet river as many as ten 
memorial tablets bearing a date 
earlier than 1800. The adoption of this 
same principle led to another result: 
the records of Dartmouth, of mar- 
riages, births and deaths are as 
meagre as in any town in the state. 
It was considered an exhibition of 
vanity to preserve the history of in- 
dividuals in either of these ways; 
therefore the forefathers of Dart- 
mouth lie in unknown and unmarked 
graves, and the information generally 
presented in stone has been irre- 
trievably lost. 

In colonial days it was customary 
for each man to own his own home- 
stead and this was transferred, at or 
before his death, to the meinbers of 
his family. So the land records will 
often chronicle numerous facts as to 

what land was his home, who was his 
wife, and what were the names of the 
members of his family. In all such 
matters the fullest credit may be 
given to the statements in deeds and 

A few extracts selected from land 
transfers, relating to the village of 
Padanaram, will serve as illustrations: 
In a deed in 1816 from Patience 
Smalley inention is made of the 
schoolhouse lot, the record of which 
cannot be found, but from this deed, 
and from those of surrounding tracts 
it is possible to prove that as early 
as 1S06 a schoolhouse stood near the 
corner of School and High streets. A 
deed from John Wing in 1743 estab- 
lishes the fact that James Akin had 
a tan-house about 400 feet east of the 

The name "Padanaram' was first 
used in a deed from David Thatcher, 
in April. 1818. la 1800, John Ricketson 
who owned the Neck, divided his es- 
tate between his sons, Henry and 
Clark, and refers to his brother. Ben- 
jamin. The division of the land of 
Elihu Akin in 1796 indicates that his 
five sons were Ebenezer, John, Jacob, 
Joseph and Abraham. 

In ISIS. Laban Thatcher conveyed 
to William Thatcher, Sylvanus Bart- 
lett and George Parker, deacons of 
the Congregational church, land for a 
meeting house. The Baptist church 
stands upon a lot purchased in 1830, 
from Reuben and Anna Russell by 
the church committee, consisting of 
Anthony and Archelaus Baker. The 
church at the Head of Apponegansett 
started in 1838, when the lot was 
purchased by the trustees of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, Jireh 
Sherman. Stephen Sherman, Ezra 
Baker, Richard Macomber, Elihu Gif- 
ford, Barker Cushman and Stephen 
Brownell. The location of the famous 
Garrison lot on the Russell farm, can 
be determined from ancient deeds. 

Abraham Sherman, who died in 
1772, was a trader and proprietor of 
a store at the head of Apponegansett, 
and in the inventory of his estate is 

the following item: 'A gun which is 
said once killed an Indian across Ap- 
ponagansett river from ye old Castle 
on Russell's land to Heathen Neck.' 
Heath's Neck, as it is later called, is 
the location of the dwelling of the 
late Dr. Gordon, and in recent years 
of Captain Charles Schultz. 

The land records of Plymouth 
prove that the John Alden house in 
Duxbury was not built in 16 5 3 as al- 
leged, but in 1720. 

One of the most satisfactory im- 
provements in process of completion 
is the new Registry of Deeds in New 
Bedford. This contains 350 large vol- 
umes of land transfers relating to Old 
Dartmouth since the formation of 
Bristol county, in 1686. These are ac- 
cessible by the assistance of numerous 
\olumes of maps and plans and care- 
fully prepared indexes. Since the in- 
stitution of this registry, in 1837, the 
quarters devoted to its use have been 
a few rooms in the Bristol county 
court house. While the repository has 
been eminently safe, yet it has not 
been adequate to the purpose of con- 
sulting these records. The present 
crowded rooms during the coming 
year will be abandoned, and the rec- 
ords placed in a registry equipped 
with modern conveniences, at the cor- 
ner of William and Sixth streets, 
where an ample opportunity will be 
afforded every investigator to examine 
this library of historical information. 

It has been the aim and purpose 
of the research department of this 
society to have its publications, as 
far as possible, in accord with the evi- 
dence from land records. It frequent- 
ly offends people when some long 
standing tradition, some cherished bit 
of folk-lore, or some romantic story 
is rejected as fictitious; and such dis- 
appointments will continue until the 
difference between fact and fancy and 
the place and value of each is justly 

Respectfully submitted, 

Henry B. Worth, 



Report of the Publication Section 

By William Arthur Wing 

It was the Gentle Reader who 
asked, "Can it be true that the quar- 
terly publications of the Old Dart- 
mouth Historical society are only 10 
cents each?" It is true, Gentle Read- 
er. They are obtainable at Hutchin- 
son's or of the secretary at the build- 
ing of the society. 

Said the Gentle Reader, "They 
have such interesting illustrations and 
subject matter unobtainable else- 
where. Why, I know of people .who 
have found genealogical and revolvi- 
tionary clues that enabled them to 
join most delightful societies. Of 
course, I know," said the Gentle 
Reader, "that they do not always come 
out exactly quarterly because you wait 
and combine them with other inter- 
esting and valuable papers. Now, to 
the proceedings of last year's annual 
meeting was added that fine article 
on Smith Mills, by Henry B. Worth, 

and though that delajs them some- 
what, it makes the number so much 
more valuable, and it takes, of course, 
much time to see to the proofs, the 
illustrating, the arrangement and the 
like." The Gentle Reader is so dis- 

And there is such a range of sub- 
jects — Whaling, Friends, biographical, 
genealogical, geological, colonial and 

"I shall take a complete set (with 
this number 24 in all),' said the 
Gentle Reader, 'for you can have 
them nicely bound for less than a 

Would there were more Gentle 

Hopefully submitted, 

William Arthur Wing, 


Report of the Photograph Section 

By William Arthur Wing 

Old Dartmouth has ever had her 
share of famous descendants. Some 
years since, when Mrs. Nicholas Long- 
worth, descendant of Hathaway Wil- 
cox and Smith families, was inar- 
ried. Old Dartmouth showed a fine 
Quaker complacency — it was not the 
first time one of her daughters, like- 
wise the daughter of a president, had 
Ijeen married in the White House dur- 
ing her father's administration. Miss 
Nellie Grant, the daughter of Presi- 
dent U. S. Grant, had done the same 
thing, and she and her father were 
both descendants of the Delano Fam- 
ily of Old Dartmouth. 

Mrs. Russell Sage, generously dis- 
pensing her benefactions throughout 
the country, has perhaps an added 
local interest in her good doing, in 
that her ancestors were of Old Dart- 
mouth's Slocum family. 

The artist Whistler's fondness for 
his half-sister. Lady Seymour-Haden — 
that delightful lady, whom he has pic- 
tured, well known for her interests 
and accomplishments in art and mu- 
sic — is a daughter of Old Dartmouth, 
with ancestors in its Delano, Pope 
and Cooke Families. 

That notable figure in Chicago and 
the middle west, the late Potter 

Palmer, was a descendant of the Pot- 
ter, Ricketson and Russell families; 
and a descendant of the Cooke, Hath- 
away, Russell and Howland families. 
Go\^ernor Henry Howland Crapo, who 
held that office in Michigan during the 
trying times of the late unpleasant- 
ness, and whose love and interest for 
Old Dartmouth and its history, has 
been shown by his manuscript, now 
published by this society through the 
kindness of his son, Hon. William W. 
Crapo, our first president. 

Our photograph-room is a thing 
unique among historical societies, 
who heartily commend it. There 
we wish to gather and present portraits 
of her sons and daughters. For the 
history of a place is the history of 
its people! Not only do we honor 
those who found fame and favor in 
the great world., but those who lived 
the "simple life" within their walls; 
those ^\'ho 'went down to the sea in 
ships' and those who kept the hearth- 
tire burning and awaited their return; 
those who ser\'ed their township, their 
colony and country and their God. 

Respectfully submitted, 
William Arthur Wing, 



Education Section 

By Elizabeth Watson 

According to our constitution, the 
special province of the education sec- 
tion is to create and foster an inter- 
est in local history among tlie school 
children of Old Dartmouth. Or, in a 
broader sense, to so educate and in- 
spire the younger generation that the 
work which we have begun may be 
continued with fidelity and enthu- 
siasm. For the life of this society, in 
the years to come, depends entirely 
upon the children of today. 

This committee, as the first step iia 
its work, has invited certain classes 
in the public schools of New Bedford 
to visit the museum. The superinten- 
dent of schools has heartily cooperated 
in the plan, and the appreciation of 
teachers and pupils has been most 
sincere and gratifying. 

We have entertained the ninth 
grades of the Fifth street, Knowlton 
and Middle street schools. In each case 
the teacher and principal accompanied 
the class. Members of the senior class 
of the High school, with Mr. Butler 
and Mr. Sargent, have also been our 
guests. Swain School students, the 
Young Men's club of the Union for 
Good Works, and a few from the 
North End Guild, have enjoyed our 

No formal plan of entertainment 
has been adopted. Members of the 
committee have been in attendance to 
answer questions or tell the story of 
the various collections. We have been 
most kindly assisted by Mrs. Horace 
Smith, whose knowledge of the Arctic 
and Alaskan exhibit added much to 

the pleasure of the visitors. Mr. Wood, 
of the museum section, has shown us 
many favors, and Mr. Wing's assist- 
ance has been, as it always is — in- 

Perhaps the most popular place 
has been the whaling room, where 
Capt. Geo. O. Baker has walked the 
deck, and undismayed by the sea of 
upturned faces on every side, has 
dispensed reliable information and 
doubtful "yarns" with equal facility. 

"These youthful guests of ours have 
carried into hundreds of homes the 
news of what we are doing here, and 
the echoes of their enthusiastic re- 
ports have come back to us in many 
different ways. Surely a wider know- 
ledge of our objects and ambitions 
must slowly, but none the less sure- 
ly, beget a wider and permanent in- 
terest in the society. 

Although various plans for en- 
larging the work of the section are in 
contemplation, provided the commit- 
tee is reappointed. The immediate 
future will be devoted to receiving 
school children at the rooins; ex- 
tending the invitation to the schools 
of all the towns of Old Dartmouth 
when satisfactory arrangements can 
be made. 

Having reported progress and 
outlined its platform, the committee 
respectfully submits its report and 
its fate to the hands of its friends. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Elizabeth Watson. 


MOV 3 1910 


Bless'd are the humble souls that see 
Their emptiness and poverty ; 
Treasures of grace to them are given 
And crowns of joy laid up in Heaven. 

Bless'd are the men of broken heart, 
Who mourn for sin with inward smart, 
The blood of Christ divinely flows, 
A healing balm for all their woes. 

— Belknap. 



No. 25 

Being the proceedings of the Twenty-fourth Meeting of the 
Old Dartmouth Historical Society, held in their building, 
Water Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts, on 30 June, 1909. 


BEFORE 1710. Henry B. Worth. 


William A. Wing. 

[Note. — The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the 
Society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 

2- ^ 



Old Dartmouth Historical Society 



30 JUNE, 1909 

President Edmund Wood, in his re- 
marks at the opening of the meet- 
ing, paid a tribute to the work of the 
Education Section, in charge of Miss 
Watson. He said that during the last 
few months Miss Watson had had all 
the higher grammar grades of the 
public schools, and the pupils of the 
local and Fairhaven High Schools, in 
the rooins, by classes, and given them 
afternoons of interesting amusemeni: 
and study. President Wood expressed 
the opinion that this was a very in- 
telligent use of the society's facilities 
in an educative way among the young- 
er people of the city. 

The president also stated that the 
secretary of the society had had the 
inspiration of commemorating the 
early settlers of Old Dartmouth by 
setting brass tablets into the panels of 
the entrance to the main room, and 
that several of the members had al- 
ready adopted the suggestion by in- 
stalling tablets to commemorate an- 
cestors. Tho secretary, he said, had 
volunteered to assist members desir- 
ous of contributing panels, by prepar- 
ing inscriptions that could be etched 
in the brasses. The cost of the tab- 
lets will be from $.5 up, according to 
the length of the inscription. 

Alluding to the death of Henrj' H. 
Rogers, who was a member of the 

board of directors. President Wood 
said that this community mourned his 
loss together with the community on 
the other side of the river. 

President Wood then introduced 
William W. Crapo, who spoke as fol- 

The June, 1906, meeting of the 
Old Dartmouth Historical society was 
held in the Town House at Fairhaven. 
Henry H. Rogers was present. A day 
or two later he called at my office and 
expressed his gratification. He was 
interested. He commended the pur- 
poses of the society and spoke of 
the earnestness of those who were ac- 
tively engaged in its work. He in- 
quired about the resources and needs 
of the society. I told him that its 
revenue was derived from the an- 
nual fee of one dollar paid by each 
of its five or six hundred members 
and that with this modest income we 
had paid for rent and the furnishings 
of the room necessary for the ex- 
hibit of our collections and the other 
incidental expenses of printing, post- 
age and the like: and that the so- 
ciety had no surplus, neither did it 
have a deficit. I told him that the 
lease of the room occupied on Union 
street expired at the close of the year; 
that we had outgrown the premises, 
but had not been able to find suit- 
able accommodations. 

I added that, in my opinion, the 
society had reached a critical point 
in its history and that its continued 
efficiency and even its permanency 
depended upon its having a home of 
its own. He asked what steps had 
been taken in this direction. I told 
him none, except vague talk about 
location, some favoring the stone 
mansion on County street constructed 
by William R. Rodman, others favor- 
ing the vacant bank building at the 
foot of William street, while others 
preferred the Bank of Commerce 
building on Water street at the head 
of Centre street. Mr. Rogers thought 
a preferable location would be near 
the municipal centre of the city in 
the neighborhood of the city hall and 
public library. I dismissed this idea 
as reaching out for something un- 

A week or two later when we met 
he said he had been considering the 
question of location for the Histori- 
cal society and had reached the con- 
clusion that the preferable place of 
those named was the bank building 
on Water street; that it was con- 
venient to the people of Fairhaven 
and Acushnet and was easy of access 
by the trolley lines in the city. He 
remarked that the building was at- 
tractive in appearance, was substan- 
tial in its construction and that he 
was familiar with its interior when 
it was used for banking and office 
purposes and thought it could be 
readily adapted for the purposes of 
the society. 

At a still later date he asked me 
what progress had been made in the 
mattei' of a home for the Historical 
society. I told him that practically 
nothing had been done, and that so 
long as there were positive differ- 
ences of opinion as to location it 
seemed useless to make any effort. 
In my judgment I told him a con- 
centration of sentiment as to one lo- 
cation was necessary. He said that 
perhaps this concentration of senti- 
ment might be obtained by a pur- 
chase of the Water street property 
and its presentation to the society. 
He had, however, he said, no wish 
to interfere with or in any way in- 
fluence the action of the inembers of 
the society, but was willing to offer 
the building in such a way that if 
it was not agreeable to the society 
it could occasion no displeasure. He 
suggested that I act in his behalf in 
the purchase of the building and he 
left it discretionary with me as to 
the price. He stipulated, however, 
that neither the owners of the build- 
ing, the members of the society, or 
the public should know that he was 
in any way connected with the trans- 

When I had agreed upon terms 

with the owners of the building and 
notified him of the fact, I inquired 
in what manner he desired to con- 
vey the property to the Old Dart- 
mouth Historical society, suggesting 
that a proper method would be for 
the grantor, the New England Cot- 
ton Yarn company, to deed the prop- 
erty to him and then that he convey 
it to the society, with such conditions 
and stipulations concerning its use, 
occupancy and future disposal as might 
occur to him. He said in making the 
gift he did not propose to attach any 
string to it and that the deed must 
go directly from the New England 
Cotton Yarn company to the Old 
Dartmouth Historical society and that 
the society should have full power to 
use it or dispose of it in its discre- 
tion. The only stipulation which he 
made was the one he imposed upon 
me that he should not be known in 
any way in connection with the trans- 

Against this withholding of his 
name I remonstrated. I urged that it 
would be embarrassing to the mem- 
bers of the society to receive such a 
munificent gift from an unknown 
person, since it would preclude them 
from the expression of their apprecia- 
tion and gratitude. 1 further urged 
that the Old Dartmouth Historical 
society was organized to chronicle and 
preserve the record of interesting lo- 
cal events and the transfer of this 
property being of vital importance to 
the society and of general interest to 
the community there would be a 
strange incongruity in the fact that 
the society could not tell in what way 
or by what means it had acquired its 
premises. After discussion it was ar- 
ranged that after the death of Mr. 
Rogers a modest tablet with a simple 
inscription of the name of the donor 
might be placed in the building. This, 
he said, might be a gratification to 
his children and his grandchildren. 

This gift came to the society with- 
out solicitation. Neither I nor any 
other person to my knowledge ever 
requested or suggested a contribution 
from Mr. Rogers for this purpose. It 
was made because he approved the 
mission of the society, because he 
was pleased with the work it was do- 
ing and desired its continuance, and 
because of the hope that the society 
having a home of its own might se- 
cure perinanency. It was also made 
because of his affection for his na- 
tive town of Fairhaven, and Fair- 
haven is a part of Old Dartmouth. 

It may be asked why w'as Mr. Rog- 
ers so insistent in withholding his 
name? In this instance it was evi- 
dent that he desired not to antag- 
onize or influence the action of the 
society on the question of location. 
He desired that the members of the 

society should be free to accept or de- 
cline his offer and that this freedom 
of action would be secured if they 
were ignorant of the donor. Besides 
this there was his well-known dis- 
like to any publicity in connection 
with his gifts. This trait in his char- 
acter was not artificial. It was part 
of his nature. It was inborn. It 
was shown in his numberless acts of 
private charity and in the bestowal 
of assistance to many philanthropies 
and in his larger benefactions. His 
pleasure was in the giving and not 
in the notoriety of the gift. 

At the entrance of this hall are 
two tablets. One of them mentions 
dates of important events in the his- 
tory of the society and of this build- 
ing. It tells us that the society was 
incorporated in 1903 and that this 
building was erected in 18S4 and was 
donated to the society in 1906. There 
is a vacant space in which may be 
placed the words "by Henry H. Rog- 
ers." No action need be taken to- 

night in this matter. I simply make 
the suggestion because it is in har- 
mony with the permission granted by 

Resolve on Gift. 

President Wood read the resolve 
presented by Mr. Crapo, as follows: 

"The members of the Old Dart- 
mouth Historical society, having 
learned from whom came the gift 
of the land and building owned by it 
and occupied as its home, it is 


"That the directors are hereby re- 
quested to place on a tablet within the 
building the name of Henry H. Rog- 
ers, its generous donor, and to take 
such further action as deemed ap- 
propriate in acknowledgment and 
recognition of the timely and import- 
ant service which he rendered the 

The resolve was adopted by unani- 
mous vote. 

The Homesteads at Apponegansett 
Before 1710 

By Henry B. Worth 

"It was in 1652 that the 'old com- 
ers' of Plymouth secured the grant 
on Buzzards bay. During the early 
years before the region had received 
a name, land transfers described the 
place at 'Cushena, Ponagansett and 

"These names were used to denote 
separate sections which in some deeds 
were called villages. When the town 
of Dartmouth was divided in 1787 the 
region called Coakset became West- 
port; Cushena was constituted New 
Bedford, while the central portion re- 
tained the ancient name of the town 
and comprised substantially the sec- 
tion designated by the Indians as Pon- 
agansett. These names later became 
modified by the prefix 'A,' but the 
form in the old deeds is probably the 
nearest to the original and more clear- 
ly indicate the meaning of the names. 
For nearly two centuries the name 
Aponagansett has been used exclusive- 
ly in reference to the river west of 
Padanaram. The meaning of this 
name has been explained is several 
ways, and generally upon the theory 
that it referred to oysters or other 
shellfish. One author suggested 'the 
place of the oyster,' and another 'the 
roasting place,' Neither of these is 
satisfactory. The etymology of the 
word seems to be Po-nag-ansett, and 
this may mean "at the neck extend- 
ing into the bay.' 

"The early settlers were governed 
by several important considerations in 
selecting their homestead farms. En- 
compassing them were Indians that 
might suddenly become hostile. 
Springs of water often determined the 
location of a dwelling, while brooks 
and rivers furnished power essential 
to operate grist and saw-inills. De- 
sirable land could be found only in 
scattered locations. It was no doubt 
thought prudent for mutual defence 
and protection to group their home- 
steads as completely as possible, but 
the geographical situation of the town 
prevented the development of a centre 
coinmon in most New England com- 
munities. Here was an extensive area, 
divided by rivers that defied all at- 
tempts to collect the inhabitants to- 
gether in a compact village. It was 
therefore a necessity that the settlers 
should be scrattered in small clusters 
along the seashore, from whence they 
could escape from the savage. 

"The earliest settlement was on the 
east side of Acushnet rover between 
its head and Fort Phoenix. Here were 
the farms of Jenney, Hathaway, Cook, 
Shaw, Palmer, Cuthbert, and east of 
Naskatucket brook Lieutenant Jona- 
than Delano, and still further east, 
next to the Mattapoisett line, he farm 
of Samuel Hicks. These families had 
settled in this region probably before- 
the incorporation of the town. 

"So far as known there was no set- 
tlement on the west side of the Acush- 
net river before 1700. In the Pona- 
gansett section the growth was slow, 
and while some of the settlers came 
from Portsmouth, a considerable por- 
tion came from towns in Massachu- 
setts where they had been harrasse'J 
by the local authorities for affiliation 
with the Quakers, and had been 
obliged to seek a residence in some 
more peaceful location. They did not 
fear the Indian if they could only 
escape the Puritan. 

"Beginning at the head of Clark's 
cove and extending westerly by Bliss's 
Corner to the Tucker road is an an- 
cient highway, its western iterminus a 
century ago being known as Slocum's 
corner, and more recently Macomber's 
corner. South of this highway are 
the necks and points comprised in the 
villages now known as Padanaram. 
Bakerville and Smith's Neck. When 
the proprietors of Dartmouth were 
compelled in 1709 by a court decree 
to make a complete distribution of all 
their undivided lands, they employed 
Benjamin Crane of Dighton to sur- 
vey and establish the bounds, and his 
first work was begun in October, 1710. 
It is proposed to preient a brief 
sketch of the homestead farms around 
the Aponagansett rivei, as Crane 
found them when he first came to 

"The pioneer settler was probably 
Ralph Earle, by whom the Dartmouth 
lands were brought to the attention of 
the Portsmouth people. He probably 
came to Dartmouth soon after 1657, 
the date of his purchase of a half 
share of land from his father-in-law, 
Francis Sprague. His farm lay on 
both sides of the Cove road, west of 
Aponagansett river, and extended be- 
yond the Tucker road. Its south line 
was at the village of Bakerville, and 
it comprised over 400 acres. 

"On the east side of the Aponagan- 

sett river is the peninsula at that date 
known as Colvin's or Durfee's Neck. 
"With the exception of the northeast 
corner at Clark's cove that was as- 
signed to Abraham Tucker, and the 
northwest corner laid out to Nathaniel 
Howland, the whole of the Padanaram 
Neck north of Bush street was com- 
prised in the homestead of John Rus- 
sell; while the location of Earle's 
house has been lost, the situation of 
the dwelling of John Russell has been 
preserved because of its famous asso- 
ciations during the King Philip war. 
It was located near the shore in the 
swampy pasture, south of the house 
•of the late Captain Charles H. Gif- 
ford. and was defended as a garrison 
by English soldiers. After the King 
Philip war Russell built a new house 
on the hill, in front of the residence 
of John J. Rowland, on Rockland 
street. He came to Dartmouth in 
16 63 and not long after Matthew Al- 
len became his neighbor on the south. 
Allen's homestead lay between Pros- 
pect and School streets and also ex- 
tended across the neck. In 1712 
this became the second home- 
stead of Captain John Akin. The 
extreme end of the neck was owned 
and occupied by William Durfee, and 
for the past century and a half has 
been in the possession of the Ricket- 
son family. 

"An interesting tradition has been 
preserved in relation to the Russell 
Garrison during the King Philip war. 
The Russell house had been converted 
into a fort and was defended by sol- 
diers under Captain Eels of Hingham. 
Across the river in a southwesterly 
direction is a point at one time owned 
by Dr. William A. Gordon, and in re- 
cent years by Captain Charles H. 
Schultz. It is know;! as "Heath" or 
"Heathen Neck " The tradition is 
that an Indian on this neck was in- 
dulging in defiant gestures toward 
the garrison and was killed by a 
musket ball flred from the Russell 
bouse. The distance is nearly half a 
mile, and this might lead to a doubt 
as to the validity of the story, but 
there is some possibility that it is 
true because in the inventory of the 
estate of Abraham Sherman taken in 
1772 appears this item: 

" 'A gun which is said once 
killed an Indian across Appona- 
gansett River from ye old castle 
on Russel's land to Heathen 

"This would be a confirmation of 
the tradition if it could be shown 
that firearms of that period had ^n 
■effective range of that distance. 

"On the north side of the Cove road 
and east of the Slocum road was the 
homestead of Natnaniel Howland, 
■whose dwelling house was near the 

head of Rockland street, in the 
vicinity of the homestead of the 
Svvenson family. He settled here not 
far from 1690. but about 1710 had 
selected a new homestead at the 
northeast corner of the Slocum road 
and Allen street. Near the present 
town house on the road to the Pada- 
naram library until recent j'ears was 
a small water-mill, f.n the same site 
as one operated by Nathaniel How- 
land before 1710. 

"West of the Slocum road and ex- 
tending nearly to the old town house 
was the farm of John Sherman. A 
brook emptying into the head of Ap- 
ponagansett river divided this farm 
into two equal sections. The we-5t 
part was later owned by Philip Sher- 
man, a son of John. The Sherman 
family came from Portsmouth, Rhode 
Island, before IflfiQ. 

At a session of the court in Ply- 
mouth in 1668 the oath of fidelity 
was taken by Ralph Earl, John Sher- 
man and John Briggs This formality 
was required of all persons who came 
to Plymouth colony if they desired to 
enjoy the privileges of citizenship. 

From the west end of the bridge 
over the Apponagansett river the Gulf 
road extends westerly into Bakerville 
and crosses the east part of the fana 
owned by John Briggs of Portsmourh. 
The village of BakervHle begins at the 
corner where the roads branch, the 
main highway leading to Russell's 
Mills. The Bakerville road extends 
south from this junction to the 
Holder Brownell corner. In 1710 
there were seven long narrow farms 
extending southeasterly across this 
neck, from the Pascamansett river 
on the west to the Apponagansett 
river on the east. 

"Beginning at the corner of the 
Russell's Mills road the first farm was 
owned and occupied bv Eleazer Smith; 
the part west of the road in recent 
5'ears was owned by Benjamin Brown- 
ell and that on the east side by Wil- 
liam R. vSlocum. Between the Smith 
farm and the line of the Gulf road 
was the farm conveyed in 1678 by 
John Briggs to his son John. The 
part west of the road finally came 
into the possession of Seth Davis, 
while the east section has become 
greatly sub-divided since the opening 
of the Gulf road, about 1820. 

"The farm next south was the tract 
which John Briggs conveyed to his 
son Thomas, the west part in modern 
times was owned and occupied oy 
Sanford Brightman. The east pavt 
contained the homesteads of Jireh 
Reed and of Captain William Penn 
Briggs. Between the John Briggs 
farm and Brownell's corner were four 
farms owned by the sons of John 
Sherman. The first, owned by Samuel 
and Sampson Sherman, included the 

Ephraim Ellis place, and on the east 
side of the road the tract owned by 
Stephen Cornell. Nexi south was the 
farm occupied by Daniel Sherman, the 
north half on the east side of the road 
became the homestead of Elisha S. 
Crapo, and was later owned by Ed- 
ward B. Smith: the south half was 
the homestead of Josliua Weeks. The 
section west of the road included the 
homestead of Ezra and Ensign Baker, 
together with the old poor farm. The 
farm next south was laid out to Wil- 
liam Sherman, and the next to Peleg 
Sherman, and the latter finally ac- 
quired both. This farm bordered on 
the south on the road from Russell's 
Mills to Smith Nock, and the east 
part included the homestead of Jesse 
Crapo, the father of Henry H. Crapo, 

"About the year 1800 emigration 
came from Cape CoJ to this section. 
The Bakers from Dennis settled in 
Bakerville and became numerous and 
influential, and from this circum- 
stance the village received its name. 

"On the south side of the Smith 
Neck road and including the Holder 
Brownell farm was the homestead of 
Judah Smith, and to the south the 
farm of his brother Gershom, while 
next south and fronting on the Po- 
tomska road was the homestead of 
Edmund Sherman. West of the 
last three farms was the homestead 
of John Lapham, which descended to 
his sons, John and Nicholas. The 
farms of Judah and Gershom Smith 
constituted the homestead of their 
father, John Smith, :i: early as 1672, 
when he was road surveyor of the 

"In the con^'e^•ances before the 
Revolutionary war Smiths Neck is al- 
ways designated as Namquid Neck. 
If a substitute for the original was 
to be selected it could with equal 
propriety have been named for How- 
land, Akin, Slocum or Briggs. But 
the Indian name was too expressive 
and picturesque to be discarded, as 
will appear when its meaning 
is understood. Its etymology is 
N-AM-QU-ID and these syllables in 
their order mean 'The Fishing Rock 
Place,' hence 'The neck at the Fish- 
ing Rocks.' It is doubtful if the Eng- 
lish name of the rock itself is any im- 
provement. This great ledge, sur- 
mounted by a lighthouse, has received 
the curious designation The Dump- 
ling Rock. Then the original form 
of the Indian name has been modified 
to 'Nonquitt' and applied to the sea- 
side village on the east side of the 
neck. In that form the name has 
no meaning. 

"At the north end of the neck was 
the farm, largely salt marsh laid out 
to Nathaniel Howland before 1700 
and occupied by his descendants to 
the present time, and with one ex- 

ception all owners have had the first 
name Nathaniel. The farm next 
south was first occupied by James 
Akin, whose dwelling house was 
taken down last year. This home- 
stead included the land in Bay View 
village and on the west side of the 
road extended as far south as the en- 
trance to Nonquitt. On the east side 
of the road between Bay View and 
Nonquitt was the homestead of 
Thomas Getchell, a part of which is 
the estate of Shore Acres. 

"The extreme south end of Nam- 
quid Neck is Mischaum Point, laid 
out to John Russell about 1690. This 
Indian name means 'The Long 
Point. The end of the Smith's Neck 
road is called Salters Point, but 200 
vears ago this name was written 
SALT-HOUSE POINT. The southern- 
most farm at the end of the road 
which included Salters Point was 
owned and occupied by Hezikiah 
Smith. North of Salters Point bound- 
ary and on the east side of the road 
was the homestead of Benjamin How- 
land, occupied by him about 1690. 
It included the Round Hil! farm and 
extended northerly on the road a 
short distance beyond the entrance 
leading to Round Hill. 

"The farm north of the Benjamin 
Howland homestead extending to the 
Nonquitt entrance was laid out to 
Captain John Akin and is the same 
which he purchased in 1692 from his 
father-in-law, Thomas Briggs; 20 
years later Akin removed to a second 
homestead, which he purchased from 
Matthew Allen in Padanaram Neck. 
The tract east of the John Akin farm 
now occupied by the village of Non- 
quitt, as early as 1686 was the home- 
stead of Thomas Briggs. 

On the west side of the Smiths 
Neck road opposite the Benjamin 
Howland hoinestead was the farm of 
Hezikiah Smith, a son of John, set- 
tled in 1691, and next north was the 
homestead of his brother, Deliverance. 
These two farms occupied about the 
same frontage as the Benjamin How- 
land homestead. The land next north 
comprised three narrow tracts that 
were finally acquired by Benjamin 
Howland, and after his death became 
the homestead of Isaac Howland, and 
in 1839 that of William S. Howland. 

The remaining territory extending 
north of the Friends' meeting house 
was laid out to Giles Slocum, and la- 
ter became the homestead of George 
Smith. This Slocum farm was crossed 
by the road from Russells Mills known 
as 'Rocky Dunder.' At the corner 
was built the Quaker meeting house 
on a lot conveyed in 1822 by Ca- 
leb Anthony to the Dartmouth Meet- 

"In the two centuries since Crane 
surveyed these Dartmouth farms the 

natural landmarks have remained 
without alteration. Some of the an- 
cient walls and bounds, overgrown 
with shrubs and vines, may still be 
discovered. Through the entire pe- 
riod the great proportion of wealth 
and population has been located near 
the bay Then a single schoolmaster 
and a single meeting house met the 
requirements of the entire town. 
Shipbuilding and whaling were just 
starting on their wonderful career, 
while no violent or convulsive change 
has taken place the ancient situation 
has nearly disappeared. Churches 
and schoolhouses are within easj^ 
reach of all. The old meeting house 
at Apponegansett is seldom opened. 

The names of the early settlers are 
no longer found in the old locations. 
All of these thirty farms have been 
divided into smaller homesteads and 
on several are large and populous 
villages containing costly mansions 
and villas and occupied by prominent 
people from every section of the 
land. It is a fascinating study to 
trace the detailed events of two cen- 
turies through all the business, re- 
ligious and social changes, from the 
homestead farms of 1710, owned and 
occupied by New England yeomen, to 
the present stage of development 
when Apponegansett has become 
transformed into important and suc- 
cessful seaside resorts." 


" " "'V ~ — ^ 




Five Johns of Old Dartmouth 

By William A. Wing 

These are but short "settings down" 
about five men in Old Dartmouth who 
bore the Christian name of Jolin, and 
who, with their descendants, are Ivitli 
and Ivin to most of those gathered 

It was in the "towne of Plimoth" in 
the "old Colonie" that a poor bound- 
boy realized the least of his troubles 
was his plain name John Smith. He 
being in "grate extremitie, and his 
master, Edward Doty of the May- 
flower, having expended but little 
upon him, was compelled to fit him 
out with a "double suit of apparel and 
each quit the other." So the lad 
fared forth free to face the world. 
He became a stalwart seaman, being 
known as the "boatesman" — and we 
hear our young master-militant is to 
go in a "barque" to "fight the Dutch 
at Manhatoes" (New York). An early 
beginning of our navy. 

But peace came. So there was not 
the usual indefiniteness about the re- 
turn of this "Malbrouck" to his wife, 
Deborah, and little daughter, Hasa- 
dyah. John Smith having married 
a daughter of Arthur and Margaret 
Howland of Marshfield, he with them 
later entered into the faith of Friends 
and paid the penalty for "holding 
Quaker meetings" and "entertayning 
Foragne friends," among these the 
famous Nicholas Upsall, "white with 

In spite of difficulties John Smith 
had prospered, for in Plymouth he 
owned a "house, messuage and gar- 
den spot on North street on ye North 
side." which he exchanged with per- 
haps pardonable pride, with Ed- 
ward Doty, Junior (son of his former 
master), for lands in Dartmouth. 

There in Apponegansett he builded 
his new house on what is known on 
the old maps as "Sinith's Neck," today 
the south side of Rocky Dunder Road, 
and became prominent in the affairs 
of the new settlement, where its high- 
est military office, "Lieftenant," was 
given him by the government at Ply- 
mouth. Being likewise a man of 
peace, he was chosen to settle cer- 
tain disputes between John Cooke, 
"the lad of the Mayflower," and the 
Old Colony. 

Deborah Howland, John Smith's 
wife, had died, and he had inarried 
Ruhamah Kirby (daughter of Richard 
of Sandwich). 

John Smith is a text against "race 
suicide," for he was the father of 

thirteen children, which would pos- 
sibly have delighted the father 
of his great-great-great-great-grand- 
daughter, Mrs. Alice Roosevelt Long- 

A sometime neighbor in Marshfield 
of Arthur Rowland's people was John 
Russell. Tradition tells that he was 
a volunteer in an early Indian war. 
In his new home he stood for gov- 
ernment affairs. He was the first to 
represent Dartmouth as Deputy to the 
Old Colonial Government at Ply- 
mouth, the long and none-too-safe 
journey along the forest paths and 
Indian trails being not the least of its 
responsibilities It is not strange that 
the children of old friends and neigh- 
bors married. John Russell, Jr., mar- 
ried Mehetable Smith, daughter of 
John and Ruhamah (Kirby) Smith; 
and Jonathan Russell, another son of 
John and Dorothy Russell, married 
Hasadyah. daughter of John and 
Deborah (Howland) Smith. 

In "'Russell's Orchard," on the 
east bank of the Apponegansett river, 
a quiet inflow, stood the Russell gar- 
rison house, or castle. Here, 'tis said, 
after King Philip's war, the strong- 
hold being still maintained according 
to colony orders, were born the twin 
sons, John and Joseph, of Joseph 
Russell, son of John Russell, Senior. 

Dartmouth was in "dire necessitle" 
after the Indian war, and John Rus- 
sell, Senior, and "Lieftenant" John 
Smith were appointed to distribute the 
generous gift from Ireland for relief 
of the distressed. John Russell built 
on a nearby hillside a new home, and 
the inventory of its furnishings plain- 
tively bespeaks an early period of re- 
construction after an early war. In 
this home of John Russell, Senior, 
where later dwelt John Russell, Ju- 
nior, and his Avife, Mehetable Smith, 
were held early town meetings and 

The Russells had ever been fore- 
most in educational matters, even in 
early Marshfield. Joseph Russell, the 
father of the twins, in a wordy will 
left moneys for his granddaughters, 
Elizabeth, Ruth and Content Russell's 
"Reading, Riteing and Cyphering," his 
version of the "three R's," accomplish- 
ments rarely adorning the female 
mind of his day. 

The Russell family held large Pro- 
prietary rights and purchases in Old 
Dartmouth. On some of these same 
lands was built part of New Bedford 


of today. Its early beginning on the 
west banl< of the Acushnet river being 
known as "ye new settlement at ye 
foot of Joseph Russell's hoinestead," 
and Union street (one of the city's 
principal business thoroughfares) was 
a sometime cart-path to the water 
front from the dwelling place of Jo- 
seph Russell on the hill. This Jo- 
seph Russell was great-grandson of 
John Russell, Senior, (being the son 
of his twin-grandson, Joseph), Ac- 
cording to ancient lore, Russell being 
the family name of the Duke of Bed- 
ford, it was suggested that the new 
settleinent be called Bedford, and the 
owner of the lands where much of it 
had been builded was jovially called 
the "Duke," the ainusing similarity 
being strengthened by "Duke" Jo- 
seph Russeir.« having married into 
the Howland family — one of the most 
substantial standing in Dartinouth — 
as had the real Duke of Bedford in 
England. Later on. as there was an- 
other Bedford in Massachvisetts, this 
"new towne" was named New 
Bedford. Could "antient" John Rus- 
sell (Senior) have rambled about the 
charming New Bedford of the 
"thirtys" he would have been amazed 
at the mansions — built on the Rus- 
sell lands by his descendants — in con- 
trast to his own simple homestead 
where the early fathers of Old Dart- 
mouth gathered, making a centre in 
its early days. 

After the Indian war there ap- 
peared in Dartmouth John Akin. 
Some claim him Dutch, others Scotch, 
and he seems to ha\'e combined 
doughtyness and cannyness. His dwell- 
ing place was at Nomquid Neck (now 
Nonquitt), and later at Colvins Neck 
(now Padanaram). His position in 
the community was that of the best 
type of colonial yeoman. 

His first wife was Mary, daughter 
of Thomas Briggs, a sometime mem- 
ber of Peleg Sanford's troop-of-horse, 
an early colonial company of cavalry. 

This Briggs family much-landed in 
old Dartmouth were closely connect- 
ed with that famous Dyer family 
of Rhode Island. Several of John 
Akin's many children married Aliens — 
descendants of the first-comer, George 
Allen of Sandwich. 

Captain John Akin had a martial 
spirit for Deliverance Smith, woefully 
related to the Meeting of Friends — 
how he with others were ordered by 
John Akin to exercise in "war-lik3 
posture" with the intention of being- 
pressed into his majesty's service in 

This son of John Smith was not 
so easily dealt with contrary to his 
principles. For making a weary jour- 
ney he stated his woes and views to 

the Governor who graciously excused 
this determined Friend, who returned 
to his home in Dartmouth delivered 
from anymore "trayning" in the 
abominated "war-like posture." 

If in military matters, John Akin 
opposed John Smith's son, he was well 
in accord with him in their township's 
struggles to maintain the dearly 
bought liberty of conscience. 

Deliverance Smith for refusing to 
collect taxes to pay a "hireling min- 
ister." was shut up in the Bristol gaol 
which by freak of fate had been built 
in part with money collected by his 
father, John Smith. "We are done with 
the Indians and now are molested by 
the Quakers!" deplored an eminent 

Later in the so-called "Great Con- 
trovers\'" Dartmouth absolutely re- 
fused to pay such taxes and appealing 
to the King their refusal was upheld. 
Then Captain John Akin was released 
froiTL the same gaol and allowed to 
live out his days undisturbed after 
a year's imprisonment for "conscience 

The "golden woof-thread of ro- 
mance" had been woven into the life 
of the parents of John Shepherd of 

John Shepherd's mother, Mary 
Bryce was married in Portsmouth, R. 
I., to Daniel Shepherd. A more than 
"twice told tale" had it that she was a. 
daughter of an earl (of Pembroke) 
enticed by a villianous brother on board 
a vessel bound to Annerica, which 
then set sail and bore her away 
to Newport. Here her forlorn fate 
fired the gallantry of Daniel Shepherd, 
who wooed and won her. 

Daniel Shepherd was chosen the 
first school master in old Dartmouth. 
He was said to be a near relative of 
that "sweete, gratious, heavenly-mind- 
ed, soul-ravishing minister," Mr. 
Thomas Shepherd, as he was ecstati- 
cally described. Perhaps Daniel 
Shepherd cast his wee light of learn- 
ing as needfully upon his own poor 
little community as his more famous 

Thomas Story, while on a visit to 
Peleg Slocum called at the home of 
Daniel Shepherd, whose wife was very 
ill and though they were not Friends 
"were somewhat convinced of the 
truth." Mary Bryce Shepherd told 
Thomas Story that he had comforted 
her mightily. Later Daniel Shepherd 
joined the meeting, but there is no 
mention of his wife, for comfort is 
not cure. 

The Shepherd homestead at Shep- 
herd's Plains where John Shepherd 
dwelt was not far from that old 
stone bridge with the two arches go- 


ing over the Pascamanset River to 
the old Friends' Meeting- House, at 
Apponegansett in Dartmouth. Dorcas 
Wing the wife of John Shepherd was 
the niece and namesake of Dorcas 
Dillingham, who married Ralph Earle, 
leader of those early settlers from 
Portsmouth, R. T.. into Old Dart- 
mouth. From his large holdings came 
the Shepherd lands. 

One of John and Dorcas Shep- 
herd sons, David Shepherd, built his 
house in the new settlement at the foot 
of Joseph Russell's homestead, now 
our old "Water street" and helped 
to make that ancient street by giving a 
right of way "before his new dwelling 
house facing Shepherd's lane." 

Close at hand to the southward on 
this old-time Water street stood the 
home of John Howland one of the 
early whaling captains and men of 
substance in this little new settle- 

Captain John Howland mar- 
ried his neighbor Shepherd's daugh- 
ter, Reliance and sailed away in a 
craft bearing her name which proved 
worthy of that honor. Froin John 
Rowland's house could be seen the 
great trees felled to build his daugh- 
ter Elizabeth's future home on what is 
now the northwest corner of Union 
and Bethel streets. He was said 
to have the most ready-money in 
town, but it is told that on an expected 
approach of the British he hid it so 

effectually that for a long time he 
complained of a lean purse until the 
hidden treasure was revealed up the 

John Howland was important in his 
connection with the old Bedford bank 
(on this very site) and was one of 
those men who helped make old Water 
Street the centre of the town's finan- 
cial and coinmercial activity and from 
these beginnings New Bedford became 
a famous city. 

In the early days of the new settle- 
ment built on the land of the Rus- 
sells there dwelt by the river 
side on quaint Water street de- 
scendants of these Five Johns of Old 
Dartmouth. Their ancient homes 
long since deserted by the Friends 
and now deniolished in the deep- 
ening twilight seemed less de- 
lapidated and the "mind's eye" might 
see their former dwellers and 
gain fancied glimpses of the past. 
For "all houses wherein men have 
lived and died are haunted houses." 

These were not great lives, but they 
freely and fearlessly served their 
township and colony and left names 
honored where they dwelt. They 
reared sons and daughters who 
became fathers and mothers of Old 
Dartmouth and some who found fame 
and favor in the great world without 
bore their blood. They "fought a 
good fight, they kept the faith." 

" Just men they were, and all their study bent 
To worship God aright, and know His works 
Not hid; nor those things lost, which might preserve 
Freedom and Peace to man." 



No. 26 

Being the proceedings of the Twenty-sixth Meeting of the 
Old Dartmouth Historical Society, held in their building, 
Water Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts, on 30 September, 1909. 


Edmund Wood 


George H. Tripp 

[Note. — The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the 
Society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 




Old Dartmouth Historical Society 



30 SEPTEMBER, 1909 

William Bradford 


Edmund Wood 

We have received a most interest- 
ing picture by \YiHiam Bradford. The 
daughter of the artist, one of our 
members, and a diligent worPcer in 
our museum section, has wished to 
present to this society a character- 
istic specimen of his work. It is a 
cartoon in blaclv and white, but drawn 
on regular canvas and is a finished 
study of whalers in the Arctic ice. 

It is altogether fitting that it 
should hang upon these walls, for the 
artist was a son of Old Dartmouth, 
who by his acknowledged talent has 
brought r/^nown to his birthplace and 
a favorable notoriety to our harbor 
and its ships and to many scenes along 
our coast. 

William Bradford was born in Fair- 
haven in 1823. In his early youth 
he showed some talent in drawing, 
but quite early became a clerk in a 
drv goods store in New Bedford. Trade 
had little attraction for him, and all 
his leisure moments were occupied 
with drawing, mostly with a lead pen- 
cil. There was nothing brilliant about 
these early attempts. They were very 
crude, for he was largely self-taught. 

Bradford was born and brought up 
a Quaker and he married the daugh- 
ter of Nathan Breed of Lynn, a stal- 
wart leader of that sect in New Eng- 
land and a man o: strong opinions. 

For eight years after his marriage 
the artistic leanings were subdued and 
the young man strove to succeed in 
trade. But he had not the business 
facultv, and his nature did not re- 
spond to that exercise of his talents 
and the business failed. 

It was scarcely to be expected that 
from his Quaker ancestry, and sub- 
dued surroundings, would be born an 
artistic soul. But should such a soul 
be born, it was still less likely that 
it would be nourished and en- 
couraged to pui'sue the study and 
delineation of the beautiful in nature. 
There was little in the habits or the 
creed of the Society of Friends aus- 
picious to the growth or development 
of the fine arts. This most prosaic of 
sects had little affinity with the prac- 
tice of an art wliich, according to 
their strict tenets was allied with and 
directly conducive to vanity. 

It can well be believed that the 

father-in-law in Lynn had little unity 
with the indulgence of an artistic 
fancy and little confidence in the 
making of pictures as a means to sup- 
port a wife and family. 

There is a similai- situation de- 
scribed in a story of Benjamin West, 
the first painter of note which this 
country produced Born of strict 
Quaker ancestry in a small village of 
Pennsylvania in 1788, he early evinced 
so decided a talent for painting that 
his parents called the elders of the 
meeting together to decide whether 
it would be possible to allow the pur- 
suit of art by the youngster — without 
defying the testimony of truth and 
the penalties of the discipline. The 
record states that at this conference 
in the woods of Pennsyhania, one 
member was mo\'ed to considerable 
eloquence in his attempt co reconcile 
the alleged vanity of painting with 
the testimony of the society for plain- 
ness of speech, behavior and apparel. 

It is remarkable that at that period 
and in the even primitive conditions 
light and liberality prevailed, and the 
meeting was led to see that the pur- 
suit of Truth and the pursuit of beau- 
ty are not necessaril\' antagonistic, for 
Benjamin West was sent to study at 
Rome and later in England, where 
he e\'entua]ly became the president of 
the Royal Academy. 

Nathan Breed bought a farm for 
the young couple as his last protest 
against dabbling with pictures, and 
besought them to till the soil with 
healthy industry. 

But this, too, failed, and then it 
seems that the young man was finally 
allowed to take up drawing as a 
means of a livelihood. For some time 
Bradford devoted himself entirely to 
the sketching of vessels, and for an 
income he painted a good many por- 
traits of the whaleships. getting $25 
apiece. It was this severe practice 
of painting the details of a ship's 
form and rigging for the most critical 
of clients that afterwards served him 
in good stead and established his 
fame as the most accurate delineator 
of vessels in this country. 

Up to this time there had been little 
attention paid to this department of 
painting, and a marine artist had not 
been evolved in America. 

Bradford at this time had had no 
instruction in the use of color, and Jt 
was a fortunate e\ent in his career 
when that roving Dutch artist, Van 

Beest, came to this city, and Bradford 
was associated with him in the same 
studio. The two men and their ar- 
tistic methods were radically different. 
Van Beest was a skilful handler of 
oil colors. He scorned detail and 
sought for the general effect; and this 
he obtained by dash and what might 
be called a happy knack. Bradford 
had magnified the importance of de- 
tails, and believed that his success de- 
pended on patient observation and 
minute accuracy. In the two years 
they were associated together Brad- 
ford received his first real instruction 
in the handling of a brush, the use 
of pigments, and in the technique of 
pointing, and gained distinctly in force 
and breadth from the manner of Van 

After leaving the studio, Bradford 
began a resolute and systematic study 
of nature, and for several se&sons 
sketched the whole coast to the north 
of us. Then came his seven succes- 
sive summer trips to the coast of Lab- 
rador, beginning in 1S61. In some 
of these trips he penetrated beyond 
the Arctic circle. Clad in the sealskin 
suit of the Esquimaux, and often in 
the l!ght of the midnight sun, he de- 
picted scenes of awful grandeur, of 
desolate, cheerless frost. He struggled 
with the marvelous color effects of 
that weird, unnatural light on the 
ever-changing faces of those drifting 
mountains of ice. 

Scenes which hitherto had only 
been described by Arctic explorers 
in halting and insufficient word pic- 
tures were studied, and laboriously 
sketched with benumbed fingers, and 
later, in the milder climate of his 
Xew York studio perpetuated on en- 
during canvas. 

Most of tlie sketches were of the 
floating field of ice and of Icebergs. 
in endless variety of fantastic shapes. 
When the light was reflected directly 
on their face they were of a dazzling 
white, but the portions which were in 
shade are shown as blue or green or 
purple, fading into delicate tints of 
gray, and s>ot with rays of pink and 

Now came quite a large measure of 
success to the struggling, persevering 
artist, and when Lockwood of New 
York paid $10,000 for that best-known 
painting. "Sealers Crushed Among th;-^ 
Icebergs." then even the incredulous 
Quaker father-in-law was inclined to 
admit that there might be something 
in making pictures. 

It is related of a rather shrewd 
member of the Society of Friends in 
Englanil. who many years ago was 
waited on by a committee of elders to 
remonstrate with him because of nis 
extravagant purchase of a picture, 
that he disavowed the protest and 

quieted all conscientious scruples 
by proving to his brethren that he had 
made an excellent investment. 

There was a welcome recognition, 
too, w^hen the great poet of the so- 
ciety, Whittier, paid an eloquent tri- 
bute to his friend the Quaker artist, 
dedicating to him the poem "Amy 
Wentworth." Whittier. in his intro- 
duction to the poem, says: 

Something it has— a flavor of the Sea 
And the Sea's freedom which reminds 

of thee. 
A song for oars to chime with, such as 

Be sung by tired sea-painters, who at 

Look from their hemlock camps, by 

quiet cove 
Or beach, moon lighted, on the waves 

they love. 
So hast thou looked, when level sunset 

On the calm bosom of some eastern bav. 
And ail the spray moist rocks arid 

waves that rolled 
Up the white san^.-slopes flashed with 

ruddy gold. 

After his last Arctic trip came the 
visit to England ITis portfolios were 
filled with his sketches — but nobody 
M'anted to look at them. London is 
not rash or impetuous. But at last 
when his money was exhausted, came 
the first influential caller. The next 
day he received the Princess Louise, 
the Duke of Argyle and Lord Duff- 
erin, and soon many of the promi- 
nent nobility of England. His pic- 
tures at once became the vogue when 
the queen purchased liis "Steamer 
Panther Among Icebergs in Melville 
Bay." Bradford received $150,000 for 
his pictures sold during the English 
visit. He had won fame in his own 
country and established himself in 
the front rank of living artists. But 
now after years of struggle with debts 
— for his Arctic expeditions had been 
very expensive — he received an amplt 
pecuniary reward. 

He was elected an associate mem- 
ber of the Royal Society — and an as- 
sociate of the Xational Academy of 
New York. 

His pencil was never idle for any 
long period until his sudden death in 

Opinions probably differ as to the 
comparative rank that Bradford holds. 
He belonged to a school which no 
longer flourishes and is unpopular 
with the art critics of the present day. 
There was little of the impressionist 
about Bradford. He knew a vessel 
to its smallest detail. He probably 
drew- into his pictures more than he 
could see, becfiuse he knew it was 
there. But his detail is not finicky 
and the natural grandeur of the sub- 
jects he selected are handled with a 
breadth of treatment and an artistic 

feeling which secures animation and 

The accuracy of his observation and 
drawing are best seen in his studies 
in black and white. To the excellence 
of these there is no dissenting voice. 
A contemporary artist in his comment 
says: "I am not sure that Bradford's 
excellent drawings will not outlive 
even his work in color." 

We have in this review confined 
ourselves to Bradford the artist, and 
nave said nothing of Bradford as a 
man. His exemplary life, not common 

in those of an artistic temperament, 
his genial, winning and affable man- 
ner, his unusual powers of conversa- 
tion, his hospitality and above all his 
cheerful and joyous enthusiasm, com- 
pose the charming background to the 
picture of his artistic struggle and his 
artistic fame. The respect and thy 
high honor which we accord to him 
as an artist, we can in the largest 
measure bestow upon his character as 
a man. His life and his work sheds 
glory upon the town of Old Dart- 
mouth which produced him. 



Early Tripps in New England 


George H. Tripp 

The study of family histories, or 
technically. genealogical research, 
has been the pursuit of the few rather 
than the many until the various pa- 
triotic societies and other similar in- 
stitutions have appealed to the pride 
of a certain class of Americans who 
have desired to link themselves witli 
a distinguished past, possibly as a 
relief for a somewhat commonplace 

Besides these seekers for refiected 
glory from distinguished ancestry 
there has been an increasing number 
of eagei' students who ha\'e felt a 
natural pride in tracing their an- 
cestry from the present as far into the 
past as verified records would justiC5\ 
There has been among some an indif- 
ference to record hunting, some pos- 
sibly taking the ground that in fami- 
lies, as with potatoes, the best part 
is underground, while others take a 
contrary view and, as someone has 
expressed it, are afraid to climb too 
far in the family tree unless they find 
some of their ancestors hanging on 
the branches 

But it seems a perfectly legitimate 
and proper subject for a short paper 
before the Old Dartmouth Historical 
society to trace the history of the 
family which numerically stood sec- 
ond in the directory of 1S80, being 
surpassed onl> Ijy the Smith fainilx', 
with 108 names, while in the direc- 
tory of 190S there are 186 names, be- 
ing surpassed in this instance by the 
Smiths, who are led by the Sylvias 
and Silvas, who figure largest in the 
number of names in the latest direc- 

The name Tripp has been given 
numerous deri\ations. One speaks Jf 
Tripp or Trippner or Trippenmaker as 
a maker of short gowns. Another 
deri\ation more pleasing to the prine 
of the owners of the names is as fol- 

"Tradition says of Lord Howard's 
fifth son at che siege of Boulonge that 
Henry V. asked how they took the 
town and castle. Howard answered, 
'I tripped up the walls.' Said his 
majesty, 'Tripp shall be thy name, and 
no longer Howard,' and honored him 
with a scaling ladder for a coat of 

The Tripps, probably a branch 
of the same family, lived in Kent 
England, and trace their line as 
far back as the Norman conquest. 

the name being found in Doomsday 
Book in a title of land. In 123i, 
Nicholas Trippe gave his estate ^n 
County Kent to Elham Church. There 
was a Tripp mentioned who was a 
governor of Calais about 1500, and a 
Thomas Trippe is mentioned by 
James, the Duke of York, afterwards 
King James II., in his autobiography, 
as aiding him to escape from St. 
James palace after the beheading of 
Charles the First. 

There seems to have been two land- 
ings of representatives of the familv 
in this country. The first John Tripp, 
living in Portsmouth, R. I., in 163S,' 
and a Colonel Henry Trippe, who 
came to Maryland in 1663. He was 
bor.a in Canterbury, England, 1632; 
he had fought in Flanders under the 
Prince of Orange, and brought to 
the provinces three of his troopers 

The principal interest, however, of 
this society would naturally be con- 
fined to the descendants of John 
Tripp. It is supposed that he came 
over from England as an apprentice 
to Holden; the Age of Chivalry had 
passed, and so the Tripps of this coun- 
try had to make other uses of the 
scaling ladder in their coat of arms, 
so John Tripp, as a carpenter, could 
fairly use the same armorial design 

John Tripp was born in 1610, was 
a carpenter by trade, married Mary 
Paine, daughter of Anthony; in 1693 
was appointed administrator for the 
inhabitants of the island of Aquid- 
neck. and during his busy life occu- 
pied many positions of dignity and 
importance. In 163 9 he signed a 
compact with 2 8 others, who de- 

"We, whose names are underwrit- 
ten, do acknowledge ourselves the 
legal subjects of his majesty King 
Charles, and in honor do hereby bind 
ourselves into a civil body politic, 
unto his laws according to matters of 

He was a deputy, corresponding to 
our present day representative, for 13 
years between 1648 and 1672. In 
1655 he was a commissioner, and in 
the sanae vear he was made a free- 
man. He was a member of the gov- 
ernor's council at least five years be- 
tween 1G4S and 1675. In 1655 he 
deeded to his son Peleg a quarter 
section of land in Dartmouth formerly 
bought of John Alden. 


An old record shows the following 
finding of a commission in 1666: 

"Whereas, Mary Tripp, wife of John 
Tripp Sr., some 25 years ago, bought 
of Richard Searle for a pint of wine, 
three acres of land, the said Richard 
Searle living then in Portsmouth, she 
being then unmarried, about which 
time Searle removed, but left no deed 
to Marv, now therefrom said sale is 
confirmed by commissioners" 

He had 10 children, and his sons 
likewise had many children. They 
were pioneers in a new land and race 
suicide was unheard of. 

John's children were: 

John, born in 1640, died 1719; mar- 
ried Susanna Anthony. 

Peleg, born 1642, died 1713; mar- 
ried Anne. He was constable, sur- 
ve>or of highways, member of the 
town council and a deputy. 

Joseph, born in 1644; married Me- 
hitahle Fish, He was a freeman, 
menil)er of the court of trials, deputy, 
and a selectman of Dartmouth. 

Mary, born 1646, died 1716; marrisd 
Gersham Wordel and Jonathan Got- 

chell. ,. , ,„r,r, 

Elizabeth, born 164S, died 1670; 
married Zuriel Hall. 

Alice, born 1650; married William 

Isabel, born 1651, died 1716; mar- 
ried Samson Sherman. 

Abiel, born 1653, died 16S4; mar- 
ried Deliverance Hall. 

Martha, born 1658, died 1717; mar- 
ried Samuel Sherman. 

James, born 1656, died 1730; mar- 
ried Mercy Lawton and Lydia . 

and Elizabeth Cudworth. 

The Hon. John Tripp was one of the 
proprietors of Portsmouth, R. J., 
and he was representative to various 
courts. He was a member of the 
governor's council in 1648, 1G70, 1673, 
1674 and 1675. 

From this man, prominent in early 
political affairs of Rhode Island, 
descended a very numerous progency, 
who, first moving into Dartmouth, 
then into other sections of New Eng- 
land, were able in the first United 
States census of 1790 to establish the 
following i-ecord: 

Of heads of families names in this 
first census, in Massachusetts there 
were 61 Tripps; in Rhode Island 28, 
Connecticut 4, Maryland 3, North 
Carolina 7, New Hampshire 2, New 
York 40, Pennsylvania 6, Vermont 2, 
South Carolina 2, Maine 4. 

Mentioned in the first part of the 
paper is the present predominence of 
Tripps in the New Bedford directory, 
while the last Westport and Dart- 
mouth directory shows nine names in 
Dartmouth and 83 in Westport. Such 
a large family, of course, by marriage 

soon became allied with practically 
every old family in Portsmouth and 
Old Dartmouth. The first generation 
united with members of the following 
families: Anthony, Sisson, PMsh, Wor- 
dell, Getchell, Hall, Sherman, Lawton 
and Cudworth. 

The first migration to Dartmouth 
occurred very early in the history of 
the Tripp family in America. In 
1665 John Alden deeded to John 
Tripp, Sr., land midivided in Dart- 
mouth, which later Tripp divided 
among his sons, Peleg, Joseph and 
James. The Tripp farms were in the 
section of Dartmouth, now West- 
port, east of Devoirs pond, while 
Peleg had a farm at the south end 
of Sawdy Pond. 

The following were prominent ^n 
town affairs in Dartmouth: 

In 1689 James Tripp was appointed 

In 1672-1673 Peleg Tripp was ap- 
pointed surveyor. 

In 1686 Joseph Tripp had taken 
oath of fidelity. 

In 1687 and 1692 he was a select- 

In 1688 Jaines Tripp was a select- 
man, also in 1699. 

In 1717-1723 John Tripp was town 

In 1685 Joseph Tripp was represen- 
tative to Plymouth. 

In 1672 Daniel Wilcox deeded co 
John Tripp 114 acres of land. 

James Tripp, in company with Ben- 
jamin Waite and George Lawton, es- 
tablished the mills between Westport- 
Factory and the Head of Westport. 

When the sons of John came to 
Dartmouth they settled in the region 
occupied by the homesteads of Ports- 
mouth people, mainly in the west edge 
of the town, in the part now in West- 
port. Peleg Tripp owned a large 
farm at the south end of Sawdy 
pond, in the region that was Dart- 
mouth until it was annexed to 
Tiverton, and then, in 1861, returned 
to Westport. This farm was owned 
in 1718-1773 in the family of Philip 
Tabor, the Baptist preacher. In re- 
cent years it has been ovv'ned by Wes- 
ton Tripp and his descendants 

Ebenezer Tripp's homestead lay 
along the south side of the Adams- 
ville road, from Central Village west 
of the junction of Sodom road. Eben- 
ezer Tripp owned tracts on the ea?t 
side of the latter road, now its south- 
ern terminus 

North of Central Village, about two 
miles, is a locality called Kirby's cor- 
ner. A road extends from this place 
northwest towards Devoll's pond. This 
is called the Charlotty White road. 
South of Kirby's corner, on sides of 
the main highway and extending 


down to the Nociuchoke ri\er, \\'as 
a group of farms owned by Tripps, 
the homesteads being on the east side 
of the highway. The north was laid 
out by Joseph Tripp and the south by 

On tlie west side of the road the 
land was owned by James, Abiel, 
Peleg, Joseph, James, John and Peleg 

Of some of this land the present 
owners are Tripps. So numerous have 
been the Tripp residents in this lo- 
cality that the region south of Kirb.y's 
corner has been known as Tripptown. 

The atlas of Bristol county in 1871 
discloses the fact that the residents 
of Westport were as follows: 

C. Tripp, Adamsville road. 

R. P. Tripp, Sodom road. 

Weston Tripp, south end Sowdy 

Seven other families of the same 
name south of Kirb.y's corner were in 
occupation of land laid out to 
descendants of John Tripp soon after 

As we could expect from the cus- 
toms of the time, some peculiar wills 
are to be found from members of 
this second generation of Tripps in 
America. Some extracts are worthy 
of record. 

John second willed: "To son Ben.ia- 
min a Bible which he hath already 
To son Othniel biggest pewter basin 
at death of wife. To son Lot biggePt 
pewter platter at death of wife. To 
daughter Susanna Potter, wife of 
Thomas, my bell metal skillet. To 
daughter Mary Potter my brass 
kettle. To son Jphn great chest, spit 
and dripping pan. To wife of Susan- 
na rest of movables." The inventory of 
his estate showed 9 pounds 14 shil- 
lings, viz., apparel five pounds, chest, 
table, three chairs, tliree bedsteads, 

Joseph's will read: "To wife Me- 
hitable, 5 pounds per year and her 

diet and house room for life, with 
most of the movables in the dwelling 
house. To daughter, Alice Sherman, 
brass chafing dish. To daughter, Me- 
hitable Sherman, a Dutch pewter pot 
or flagon. To daughter, Mary Wait, 10 

The will of Abiel provided: "To son 
Abiel all real and personal estate at 
death of testator's wife, and at age 
of 16, he to have a cow and 10 sheep, 
which are to be improved until he is 
of age. To son at age, a silver cup, 
set of silver buttons; pair of silver 
buttons for breeches, chest marked 
with brass nails with letters I. T. and 
a feather bed." 

The will of James, who was the plu- 
tocrat of the original family, made the 
following bequests: "To wife Eliza- 
beth, feather bed, use of five cows 
and horse, use of housing, profit of 
half orchard, negro boy Tobey, fire- 
wood, £5 yearly and use of all house- 
hold goods while widow. To son John, 
great Bible, ivory-headed cane and 
great silver spoon. To daughter 
Elizabeth Mitchell, son Robert and 
James, 5 shillings each. To son Fran- 
cis, certain land, etc. To son Stephen, 
100 pounds, paid by brother John, and 
negro boy Tobey, when his mother 
dies, and a feather bed. To son Israel, 
half of 100-acre lot. To daughter 
Isabel Tripp, a feather bed, good cow 
and £10." The inventory of the es- 
tate showed £860, viz., apparel, £11; 
two canes, Bible, negro boy, £100, five 
swine, poultry, £4 18 shillings, eight 
cows, heifer, pair of oxen, pair of 
steers, three yearlings, two calves, 
real estate, £500. 

In closing this brief sketch, which 
has been confined almost entirely to 
the first settlers, the only excuse I can 
offer for writing is that I consider 
any attempt to enlist the legitimate 
interest of the people of today in the 
people of their own related past is 
worth while. 




No. 27 

Being the proceedings of the Twenty-sixth Meeting of the 
Old Dartmouth Historical Society, held in their building, 
Water Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts, on 29 December, 1909. 


Job C. Tripp 

[Note. — The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the 
Society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 



Old Dartmouth Historical Society 



29 DECEMBER, 1909 

The Old Dartmouth Historical so- 
ciety held its twenty-sixth quarterly 
meeting on Wednesday evening. Two 
interesting papers were read before 
a gathering of the members, one 
being by Job C. Tripp on "The 
Old Men of Fairhaven," and the 
other a Bourne prize essay by Miss 
Irene Belanger on "Some Events in 
the History of New Bedford as Re- 
vealed in the Collection of the Old 
Dartmouth Historical Society." Miss 
Eelanger's paper had been awarded 
a prize in the competition. 

President Edmund Wood, in open- 
ing the meeting, called attention to 
some recent valuable accessions to 
the society's collection. The following 
memorial tablets have been placed in 
position by the entrance door: 

Peleg Slocum 


"An Honest Publick Friend" 

His Wife 

Mary Holder 

A Daughter of Xopher Holder' 

Henry Howland 

Died 16 71 

'An Original Purchaser' 

Stephen Willcox 
Died 1736 
His Wife 

Susannah Briggs 

Eliezer Slocum 


His Wife 

Elephel Fitz Gerald 

Died 1748 

Benjamin Crane 



Dartmouth Proorietors 


The Old Men of Fairhaven 


Job C. Tripp 

Twenty years after 1620 and within 
the life time of the Pilgrim Fathers 
the township of Dartmouth was 
marked out as a most desirable place 
for settlement, and a deed was ob- 
tained from the two sachems Massa- 
soit and Wamsutta for all the land in- 
cluded now in the city of New Beil- 
ford, and the towns of Dartmouth, 
Westporl, Fairhaven, and Acushnet. 
In consideration of which there was 
paid to the Indians thirty yards of 
cloth, eight moose skins, fifteen axes, 
fifteen hoes, fifteen pairs of breeches, 
eight blankets, two kettles, one cloak, 
eight pairs stockings, eight pair of 
shoes, one iron pot and two English 
pounds in wampum. It must have 
been over 250 years ago, when John 
Cooke, the last surviving Pilgrim on 
the Mayflower and the first white man 
to settle in our town, came to what 
is now the locality of Oxford, in Fair- 
haven. He was undoubtedly our first 
old man; a man of great ability, 
strictly honest and trustworthy, and 
a Christian of the Baptist persuasion, 
having left Plymouth on account of 
his then heretical notions, which 
found no fellowship among the Pil- 
grim fathers, although no deed given 
by the Pilgrim fathers within the 
township of Dartmouth was valil 
unless countersigned by John Cooke, 
their agent here. John Cooke was the 
ancestRr of many families in our 
town. Fairhaven, when set off front 
the town of New Bedford, in 1812, 
included the town of Acushnet, the 
latter town having been set off from 
Fairhaven as an independent township 
many years later. In speaking of the 
old men of Fairhaven, I allude to 
those living in the present township, 
placing them in two classes: first, 
those I knew of and saw when a boy 
of 10 or 12; and secondly, those whom 
I know when I was a young man in 
business; and with those lives I was 
more or less contemporary. The most 
of these men were good citizens, and 
faithful in their callings, the larger 
part being descendants of the Pilgrim 
Fathers. Many of them connected 
with the various trades or occupations 
enumerated were prominent in the 
civic, religious and business life of the 

I commence with some of the old- 
est men whom I have seen when the 
business of the town was wholly mari- 

time, giving names, occupations, and 
age at death. 

Master mariners — Noah Stoddard, 
94; Silas Alden, 78; John Bunker, 7.;; 
Lemuel C. Wood, 78; Alden D. Stod- 
dard, 83; James Merrihew, 82; 
Thomas Bennett, 75; George Hitch, 
80;? Sylvanus Allen, 81;? Atkins 
Adams, 6 7. 

Most of the shipmasters were able 
men, and successful in their calling. 
Most of their life being spent on ship- 
board, a little of the commanding and 
autocratic spirit was shown on shore. 
It was said that Noah Stoddard's atti- 
tude at home or on the street was 
that of a stern man, not to be trifled 
with. Boys on the street stopped their 
noisy play and stood in awe as he 
passed by. Atkins Adams was always 
a finely dressed and imposing figure, 
with aristocratic bearing, on our 
streets. He with others did not ap- 
prove in that day of the laboring 
man's efforts to reduce the hours of 
labor from the custom at that time of 
working from sunrise to sunset, to the 
10-hcur system which was afterwards 
adopted. He expressed the thought 
that the workmen were rather too 
independent and saucy, but he was a 
fine man and prominent as a leading 
citizen. Thomas Bennett, in his day, 
was a proininent shipmaster in the 
merchant service between this coun- 
try and Russia. 

I am informed that Captain 
Charles Stoddard was a noted ship- 
master of a passenger ship running- 
between this country and Europe, be- 
fore the adoption of steam passenger 
service. In a great gale off the south 
side of Long Island, on his return 
from Europe with a large number of 
passengers, he inet with shipwrec'i. 
Finding that his ship was leaking, arid 
sure to sink, his quick sense of danger 
led him to summon his officers and 
crew to the quarterdeck, where, with 
speaking-trumpet in his hand, he or- 
dered the boats manned and filled 
with passengers, all of whom were 
saved. When urged by passengers, 
officers and crew to save his life, ne 
made answer through his speaking 
trun'pet, 'I am captain of this ship, 
and you must obey my orders; as for 
me, 1 shall stand by the ship.' Tho 
next morning after the storm, when 
the divers came down from New York 
they found the sunken ship with Cap- 

tain Stoddard standing at his 
with speaking trumpet clutched so 
tightly by his fingers that it was with 
difficulty removed. 

I speak of these incidents simply 
to show you what kind of stuff some 
of these men were made of. 

Grocers and Traders — Bartholo- 
mew Taber, 81; Marlboro Bradford, 
76; Enoch S. Jenney, 89. 

Merchants — Tievi Jenney, 70; Sam- 
uel Borden, 88; Joseph Tripp, !)2: 
Warren Delano, 86. 

Joseph Tripp was one of our first 
citizens and noted as merchant, state 
senator and gentleman. 

Samuel Borden was for many years 
one of our wealthiest men and an 
Important director in the Merchants 
bank of this city. 

Warren Delano, a descendant of 
Phillippe Delanoye, of France, was 
for many years one of our most 
prominent merchants. 

Farmers — George Willcox, 98; Seth 
Alden, 71; Nathaniel Delano, 72; Jo- 
seph Smith, 78; Amaziah Delano, 88 

George Willcox Avas always a hard 
working man. Every year he planted 
his garden and took care of it. On 
the last day of his life, when he died 
at 9 8, he hoed his garden and ate 
his dinner at 12 o'clock; then, re- 
tiring to the lounge, as usual, he soon 
fell asleep, and never woke again. 

Shipwrights — Abener Pease, 85;? 
Isaac Wood, 80; Jesse Paine, 70.? 

Coopers — Jeremiah Pease, 80; Kel- 
lev S. Eldredge, 89; Salathiel El- 
dredge, 83; Gilbert Tripp, 80. 

Shoemakers — Dennis McCarthy, 73; 
Ebenizer Tripp, 64. 

Dennis McCarthy, Irishman and 
Catholic, who came over from Ireland, 
was a man of more than ordinary 
intelligence. He joined the Methodist 
church, where as a boy I also at- 
tended and often heard his gentle 
voice touched with poetic thought as 
he spoke in the prayer meeting. Many 
years afterwards he became a convert 
to the Swedenborgian faith, and many 
times have I seen the coach and spaji 
of Mary Rodman of this city drive 
up to his little cobbler shop, on Water 
street in our town, .where no doubt 
she found congenial company in their 
discussion on spiritual themes. 

Eljenizer Tripp was of most excel- 
lent character, but was both deaf and 
dumb He was constant in his at- 
tendance at the Congregational 
church, and when questioned as to 
his reason for going when he was 
unable to hear what was said, he re- 
plied that he liked to watch the ex- 
pression on the minister's face dur- 
ing his delivery of the sermon, and 
somehow he felt that the inspiration 
and spirit of the speaker was impart- 
ed to him. He felt in his heart what 

he failed to hear in his ears. In the 
same spirit he fellowshipped with the 
other members of the church 
Caulker — Jabez Sherman, 8 0. 
H. H. Rogers informed me last 
year that one day when a boy he was 
walking over the mill bridge on his 
way to the high school, now and then 
throwing a stone into the mill pond, 
when he met Mr. Sherman, who said. 
'Young man, whose boy art thou?' 
when young Rogers replied, "I am 
Roland Rogers's boy." Mr. Sherman 
then said: 'Roland Rogers's boy ought 
to know better than to throw stones 
into the mill pond, for thee will fill 
it.' A most remarkable prophecy 
from a man unconscious of the future, 
as any one will observe as he looks 
upon Cushman park. 

Rope Maker — Albert G. Liscomb, 

Baker — Jonathan Buttrick, 77. 
Rigger — James Hammond, 74. 
Sail maker— Hardy E. Hitch. 83. 
Town clerk — Ebenezer Akin, Sr., 

I now refer to the second class of 
old men who were active when I was 
a young man in business. 

Master mariners — Lemuel Tripp. 
81; Caleb Church, 85; Phinneas E. 
Terry, 71; John S. Taber, 80; Ebenizer 
Pierce, 84; Alexander Winsor, 80; 
Thomas Stoddard, 80; Jabez Delano, 
74; James S. Robinson, 87; James V. 
Cox, 71; Charles S. Taber, 82; Joseph 
Taber; Charles Bryant; James Tripp, 
2d, SO; Peleg Gifford, 84; Ellery T. 
John Charry, 79; Gorham B. Howe?, 
71; Benjamin Ellis, 78; Thomas VV. 
Taber, 85; John Church, 78; William 
H. Whitfield, 81; Isaiah West, 87; Ira 
Lakey; George H. Taber, 93. 

The many incidents relating to 
these men are too numerous to men- 
tion in this paper. Lemuel Tripp, one 
of our leading citizens, was director 
in the Fairhaven bank, deacon of the 
Congregational church, and well to 
do. He told me that he never gave 
his note or hired a dollar in all his 
life. Phinneas E. Terry, the favorite 
captain of Cornelius Vanderbilt on his 
New York and Galveston steamship 
line, expected his passengers as well 
as his crew to obey orders. Stopping 
at one of the southern ports to take 
on passengers, he noticed the next day 
that some of these southern men were 
gambling on the ciuarter deck. He 
ordered them to desist as no gam- 
bling was allowed on the ship. They 
obeyed, but the next day, in another 
part of the ship, the same gang were 
found at the same business. When 
Captain Terry approached, the men, 
all of whom were armed, quietly took 
their cards and threw them into the 
sea, to the great amazement and 
wrath of the gamblers; but there was 

no more gambling. Then William 
Wasliburn, a favorite captain of Gibbs 
and Jenney, who sailed during the 
Civil war on a right whale voyage to 
Hudson bay. The ship was frozen-in 
by Sept. IJi; Eskimos came and built 
their icehouses around the ship. Cap- 
tain Washburn found them to be good 
men, and thoroughly honest. Finally 
the sun ceased to rise; the weather. 
60 to 70 degrees below zero, was very 
trying, when the Eskimos chief pro- 
posed a hunting trip to the interior 
of northern Canada; the captain fur- 
nishing a boat crew and food, the 
Eskimo the sledges, with 40 dogs to 
a sled. They were gone about a week, 
and returned with nine moose oxen 
and 200 salmon trout. The coming 
seasc;n the ship, filled with oil and 
bone, returned; the oil selling at one 
dollai' per gallon and the bone at one 
dollai- and fifty cents per pound. 

Captain Alexander Winsor, in the 
merchant ser\'ice, was the favorite 
captain of Grinnell, Minturn & Co., 
and had the finest ship in the Ameri- 
can service; which was afterward sold 
in a foreign port. "Flying Cloud". 

William H. Whitfield, the captain 
who rescued Nakahama Mungero and 
liis five companions from a lone rock 
in a China sea. This young Japanese 
was one of my schoolmates in Fair- 
haven, graduating in five years ahead 
of all the American boys. He final- 
ly returned to Japan, where he was 
quite as important a factor in open- 
ing the ports of Japan to the world 
as Commodore Perry and his warship. 
No fairy tale or Arabian Nights story 
could e\er equal his experiences. 

And then Ira Lakey, the jew^eler 
in Fairha\en, who with many log 
books studied up the habits and the 
homes of the whales, and afterwards 
went as captain of a ship and pro- 
ceeded to fill her with oil. 

Captain Isaiah West, who on his 
vryage for sperm whaling in the In- 
dian ocean puts into Zanzibar for 
recruits, and became acquainted with 
some of the black Mahomedan mer- 
chants, whom he found strictly hon- 
est, trustworthy and very religious. It 
was here that he lost his anchor in 
a typhoon, compelling him to obtain 
another one to replace the lost one. 
The merchant who sold the anchor 
refused to take pay, saying he could 
find the captain's anchor in the har- 
bor, and besides it was the command 
of the Koran that the Mahomedan 
must treat the stranger in distress as 
he himself would like to be treated 
were he in distress in the stranger's 

It was largely through Captain 
Charles Bryant in his interviews with 
Senator Charles Sumner that the sen- 
ate of the United States was prevailed 
upon to purchase Alaska from the 

Russian government. His whaling ex- 
periences in Bering sea, his acquaint- 
ance with the Alaska Indians, his ex- 
perience as custodian of the fur seal 
fishery and his account of the fish- 
eries and wonderful scenery in Alaska, 
are of the greatest interest. 

Merchants — Nathan Church, 74; 
William P. Jenney, 79; Charles W 
White, 79; Francis Stoddard, 66; Phin- 
neas Terry, 87; Isaiah F. Terry, 91; 
Warren Delano, Jr., 88; Nathaniel S. 
Higgins, 86; Weston Howiand, 85; 
Johnathan Cowen, 72; William L. B. 
Gibbs, 81; Charles S. Taber, 82; Ro- 
land Fish, 89; Furman R. Whitwell, 
68; Philemon E. Fuller, 81; Ezekiel 
R. Sawin, 79; Wilson Pope, 84; Lewis 
S. Judd, 70; Nathaniel Church, 66. 

Nathan Church, our wealthiest 
citizen, had three good character- 
if.tics: He always paid his labor every 
Saturday; he never spoke ill of any 
one; he was always polite to the 
townspeople in every walk in life. 

Warren Delano, Jr., for a great 
many years was the trusted manager 
of the commercial house of Russell 
& Co., Shanghai, China. 

Weston Howiand, a citizen for so 
many years of both this city and Fair- 
haven, was noted as the discoverer 
in the successful manufacture of pe- 
troleum oil. 

Grocers and Traders — Rufus Allen, 
Rl; Samuel H. Eldred, 87; Noah Stod- 
dard, 7 7; Seth S. Swift, 77; Tucker 
Damon, Jr., 84; Hervey Tripp, 80. 

Carpenters — Amos T. Pierce. 72; 
Loring Dexter, 78; Frederick T. 
Pierce, 94; Bethuel Gifford, 87; Ar- 
nold G. Tripp, 87. 

Coopers — William W. Allen, 89; 
John C. Pease, 80; Pardon Tripp, 87; 
Nathan Lawton. 81; Charles H. Tripp, 
84; Charles Eldredge, 88; John M. 
Howiand, 91; Welcome J. Lawton, 79; 
Kelley S. Eldredge, 80; Hiram Tripp, 
84; Francis J. Delano, 86. 

Blacksmiths — Luther Cole, 79; 
Tucker Damon, 82; John Howard, 76; 
Phinneas Merrihew, 80; Isaac W. 
Babbitt, 93. 

Shipwrights — Reuben Fish, 85; 
Elbridge G. Morton, 74; Albert Gif- 
ford, 79; Daniel J. Lewis, 72; Eben- 
ezer Bryden, 76; Oliver Brightman. 

Farmers — Lemuel S. Akin, 76; 
William F. Terry, 88; John P. Ellis, 
73; William P. Sullings, 81; Manuel 
Rose, 80; Sylvanus E. Studley, 87; 
Henry Akin, 7 6; Charles F. Morton, 
81; Samuel Dunn, 81; George R. Dean, 
79; Seth Alden, 84; Johnathan E. 

Phj-sicians — George Attwood, 72: 
Charles N. Thayer, 79. 

Treasurers and Cashiers — Charles 
Drew, 84; Reuben Nye, 89. 

Riggers — William Waterson^ 88; 
\niliam T. Hoeg, 73. 


iNIachinists — Henry J. Mantius, S6; 
Russell Hathaway, 81. 

Painters — Bartholomew Taber, 80; 
William Washburn, 84; Alexander 
Tripp, 79. 

Teachers — Martin L. Eldredge, 78; 
Frederick Jenney, 82. 

Manufacturers — Edward A. Dana, 
78; Cyrus D. Hunt, 79. 

Ministers — Rev. Henry J. Fox, 70; 
Rev. Frederick Upham, 91. 

Martin L. Eldredge will be remem- 
bered as the successful commander 
and teacher of the state schoolship 
Massachusetts, which for several years 
v/as anchored in our harbor. Reuben 
Fish will be remembered as a most 
successful ship builder, some of the 
finest ships owned in New Bedford 
and Fairhaven were the products of 
his skill. 

Seth A. Mitchell, road builder, 88 
George A. Briggs, civil engineer, 84 
Nathaniel S. Taber, sail maker, 87 
Ira Gerrish, cabinet maker, 86; Wal- 
ter D. Swan, pump maker, 84; Joshua 
Delano, boat builder, 80; James Law- 
rence, teamster, 75; Robert Bennett, 
clerk, 7 5; Francis W. Tappan, law- 
yer, 87; John H. Howland, selectman, 
76; Alfred Nye, justice, 78; William 
Bradford, artist, 70; Thomas S. Put- 
man, deputy sheriff, 82; Eben Akin, 
Jr., town clerk, 87; James Bennett, 
lailroad conductor, 75; James C. 
Mara, dentist, 80; Samuel Jenkins, 
gardener. 9S; Harvey Caswell, block 
niaker, 84; B'rederick Williams, coop- 
er, 82; John Chase, blacksmith, 93; 
Cyrus G. Lawrence, cooper, 94. 

Some of these men were great 
sticklers for their rights. The select- 
men gave James Wing permission to 
dam up the old mill pond in order 
that he might obtain his supply of 
ice from this place. I well recollect 
a great northeast storm with a down- 
pour of rain that completely flooded 
the land around the pond. Two of 
the abutters, Oliver Brightman and 
James Lawrence, already alluded to, 
Mere up bright and early in the morn- 
ing and proceeded with a gang of 

men to destroy the dam. Word got 
qiiickly around the town. I was one 
of the first to arrive on the scene, 
when soon came the selectmen, who 
in peremptory tone ordered them to 
desist in their attempt to defy the 
action of the constituted authorities 
of the town. The two men replied 
that they had squatters rights and 
they were going to maintain them. 
They kept at work until the whole 
dam gave way, the great bo0' of wa- 
ter rapidly flowing into the' Acushnet 
river. It was a great sight and great 
fun for the boys. Suit at law was 
immediately brought by the selectmen 
against both Lawrence and Bright- 
man, the two latter being defended by 
Thomas D. Elliot, Esq., who told me 
afterwards that he gained the case 
for these men and also a decree from 
I. igher authorities that this waterway 
must remain open and undisturbed 
to the sea. The town was mulcted 
in the sum of $3300. 

Of course there were many other 
old men besides those I have enumer- 
al€d, mostly farmers who were be- 
yond my reach. I note tlie fact that 
among all the occupations given the 
healthiest were those of house car- 
penters and coopers. 

Of course nothing has been said 
about the old women, of whom there 
are always more in number than the 
eld men. There are more widows 
than widowers in our town. A life 
insurance risk on a woinan is better 
than one on a man. 

Fairhaven 70 years ago, with its 
li;ck of good streets and sidewalks, its 
sale of liquors at the grocery stores 
and public bar, its lack of shade 
trees and its inadequate school sys- 
tem, was a vastly different town than 
the town of today. But later on some 
of the men whom I have named did 
much afterwards in tree-planting, 
grading, flagging and curbing some 
of our streets and improving our 
school system, until our former towns- 
man, H. H. Rogers, completed the 
work as it stands today. 


No. 28 

Being the proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Old Dartmouth 
Historical Society, held in their Building, New Bedford, Mass., on 
March 30, 1910. 


William A. Wing 


William A. Mackie 


Annie Seabury Wood 


SECTION Henry B. Worth 


Elizabeth Watson 


William A. Wing 


William A. Wing 

[Note.— The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the 
Society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 



Old Dartmouth Historical Society 



MARCH 30, 1910 

The following officers were elected: 

President — PJdmund Wood. 

Vice Presidents — George H. Tripp, 
Henry B. Worth. 

Treasurer — William A. Mackie. 

Secretary — William A. Wing. 

Directors for three years — William 
W. Crapo, Walton Ricketson, Edward 
L. Macomber. 

President Wood, who presided at 
the meeting, announced that the 
members had gathered for the bev- 
enth annual meeting. "While this has 
not been a spectacular year in the 
society's history," he said, "we all 
believe it has been a year of growth 
and development. Good work has 
been done, meetings regularly held, 
and research work of value, re- 
lating to the history of the locality, 

has been developed by the papers 
read at the meetings. 

The society is indebted to the 
entertainment committee, which has 
inaugurated several entertainments, 
and has not only provided in- 
structive evenings, but has also raised 
revenue and has money in the treas- 

Referring to the gifts made to the 
society. President Wood said that 
many valuable articles were drifting 
into its possession, for which the 
members desired to express gratitude. 
He also dwelt upon the satisfaction 
which the public should feel that the 
treasure-house of the society afford- 
ed a chance to give a proper hous- 
ing and exposure to these things. 

Report of the Directors 


William A. Wing 

Another twelfth-month has passed 
in the activities of our society, ex- 
pressed by the various reports of this 

We are justly proud that the Old 
Dartmouth Historical Society holds a 
recognized and unique place among 
historical associations. 

During the last year the secretary 
has spent his spare time as librarian 
of the Rhode Island Historical So- 
ciety, established in 1822. That organ- 
ization is practically an historical 
library. The dignity of age and its 
methods resulting from long estaVj- 
lishment and experience have made 
the past year one which will be, I 
am sure, productive of value to this 
society. Visits when possible to other 
societies and also from their repre- 
sentatives have been helpful. For the 
spirit of co-operation is especially 
necessary in this work as an aid 
against retrogression. 

In Memoriam. 

Wilhelmina Crapo Clifford 

(a life member). 
Annie Russell Holmes. 
John Henry Howland. 
Adeline J. James. 

David Kinghorn. 
Joseph Frank Knowles. 
Thomas Henry Knowles. 
Winthrop P. Knowles. 
Elizabeth Perry Paige. 
Henry Huttleston Rogers 

(a life member). 
"William Ervin Sargerit. 
Winfred T. Taft. 

We realize the great loss to the 
community and to this society caused 
by the death of Henry H. Rogers, to 
whose generosity we owe this beauti- 
ful home, so well adapted to our 
needs. It is a fitting memorial to 
the donor and to his ancestors, who 
were among the earliest and most 
prominent in Old Dartmouth. 

Each member will help this institu- 
tion, so valuable and much needed in 
our city and vicinity, by the regular 
payment of annual dues. This can 
always be regulated by consulting 
your last membership card, which is 
in itself a receipt and memorandum. 

By thrift, co-operation, and atten- 
tion to detail grew from humble be- 
ginnings our Old Dartmouth to a 
great and flourishing community, and 
so with your help may its namesake, 
our Old Dartmouth Historical Society. 

Report of the Treasurer 


William A. Mackie 

William A. Mackie treasurer in ac- 
count with Old Dartmouth Historical 
society from March 29, 1909 to March 
30, 1910; 


Balance March 29, 1909 $383.02 

To W. A. Wing, secretary, for 

dues 623.00 

To W. A. Wing, secretary, for 

admissions 71.25 

To W. A. Wing, secretary, for 

publications 17.10 

To W. A. Wing, secretary, for 

life members 50.00 

To Merchants National bank, 

dividend 39.00 

To Mechanics National bank, 

dividend 105.00 

To Commonwealth of Massa- 
chusetts, rebate of tax 50.56 



By N. B. Institution for Sav- 
ings, life members $5C.OO 

By museum 55.75 

By salaries 150.00 

By labor 286.88 

By repairs and improvements. 63.77 

By current expenses 555.58 

Balance March 30, 1910 176.95 



Report of the Museum Section 


Annie Seabury Wood 

Through the kindness of its many- 
friends much has been done during- 
the year now ended to increase tlie 
value and interest of the museum. 

A beautiful old desk, belong- 
ing to Daniel Ricketson, Sr., was 
given to the society, by his great- 
g-randchildren, Arthur, Anna and 
AValton Ricketson. Daniel Ricketson, 
son of John Ricl<etson, was born in 
Dartmouth in 1745 and died in New 
Bedford in 1824. The mahogany of 
"Which the desk is made was brought 
by him from Santo Domingo in a ship 
of which he was master. It is a most 
finished piece of workmanship, and 
we value it not only for its own 
beautx', but because it was the dearly 
prized possession of a family whose 
members have been, from the organ- 
ization of the society, its staunch 
supporters and generous benefactors. 
We count ourselves fortunate, too, in 
coming into possession of an excep- 
tionally fine figurehead from the old 
New Bedford whaleship Bartholomew 
Gosnold. A long story might be told 
about the ship, its voyages and its 
owners, and about the adventures of 
the figurehead after the ship was de- 
stoyed. Sufficient here to say, how- 
ever, that it has most fittingly found 
a home with us at last. 

The surveyor's outfit of Henry 
Rowland Crapo, born 1804, died 1869, 
has been presented to the society. Its 
history is an interesting one. In 1829 
Henry Howland Crapo was teaching 
in the High school at the Head of 
Westport. He was ambitious to be 
a land surveyor and had prepared 
himself, but he had no compass and 
no means to purchase one. His only 
alternative was to mal^e one. Using 
the tools in the village blacksmith 
shop he constructed a compass and 
tripod and used them afterwards in 
many surveys of land within the ter- 
ritory of Old Dartmouth. 

A short time ago, William F. 
Havemeyer of New York presented 
to the society an oil painting by Wil- 
liam Bradford, which is considered 
one of the strongest of the artist's 
pictures. The scene is off the north- 
ern coast of Greenland and the name 
of the picture is 'The Ice Dwellers 
Watching the Invaders.' The shir> is 
the Panther and was hired by Wil- 
liam Bradford for this expedition. 

Dr. Hayes, the explorer, was a mem- 
ber of the party, and it is interetsing 
at this time to note that an uncle 
of 'Capt. Bob' Bartlett, who is to 
lecture under the auspices of this 
society on Friday night, was m com- 
mand of the ship. 

The Horace Smith loan collection 
has added greatly to the interest of 
the Alaskan room and to the Jap- 
anese and Chinese exhibit which has 
been arranged in the old directors' 

Only a beginning has been made 
in this work, but we feel sure it is 
the nucleus of a worthy exhibit in 
the future. Notable among the many 
other acquisitions is a group of mod- 
els of Provincetown whaleships given 
by Abbott P. Smith; a photograph 
of Warren Delano given by Mrs, 
Delano-Forbes; the trimming for a 
parka or Alaskan coat, a most won- 
derful and artistic piece of work 
made of tiny pieces of deer hide and 
brought down from the far north 
by David H. Jarvis; a working sketch 
in water color painted in 1880 by 
Dodge McKnight for the drop curtain 
of Liberty Hall, given by William L, 
Sayer; and a pair of whale's teeth, 
the largest ever brought into New 
Bedford, taken from a whale killed by 
Captain George Winslow of Bark Des- 

Nathan C. Hathaway is constantly 
adding new treasures to his case of 
ivories, and it is safe to say that Mr 
Hathaway's case, the case of jagging 
wheels and the case of miscellaneous 
articles made on shipboard form a 
collection of ivories which is most val- 
uable and unique and one which it 
would be impos.sible to duplicate. 

The entertainmenr committee has 
presented several interesting talks and 
lectures during the winter; one by 
Clifford W. Ashley on a 'Short Voy- 
age on a Whaleship;' one by Eliza- 
beth Watson on Old Dartmouth, il- 
lustrated with stereopticon views 
shown by J. Arnold Wright; one by 
John Colby Abbott on 'Colonial Dress- 
ing- in America,' and to conclude the 
season a lecture will be given on Fri- 
day night, April 1st, by Captain Bart- 
lett of the Roosevelt. We trust he 
will be given a rousing welcome ta 
New Bedford. 

Report of the Historical Research Section 

Henry B. Worth 

While the activities of this society 
are directed especially to historical 
events of ancient Dartmouth, yet the 
circle of its investigation may prop- 
erly include persons and places in 
which Dartmouth men have been par- 
ticularly concerned. Along the south- 
ern boundary of Buzzards bay is a 
chain of islands constituting one of 
the towns of Dukes county to which 
the foregoing principle has a peculiar 
application, and this wilr plainly ap- 
pear when the ownership of the 
islands is considered. Purchased orig- 
inally by Thomas Mayhew in 1641 they 
remained in the possession of his fam- 
ily for nearly half a century. Before 
his death they were conveyed to pur- 
chasers who were never associatd with 
Marthas Vineyard but whose names 
are illustrious in the colonial hi^-tory 
of Dartmouth. 

Penikese was transferred in 1686 
to Daniel 'Vilcox and soon after to 
Peleg Slocum by whose descendants it 
was owned for over a century. 

Cuttyhunk was purchased in 1674 
by Peleg Sanford, Peleg Smith, Ralph 
Earle and Thomas Ward, who were 
well known in the affairs of Newport, 
and they conveyed the island to Peleg 
Slocum, in whose family it was held 
until in 1S69 Otis Slocum conveyed 
it to the Cuttyhunk club. At one time 
it was called Sanford's Island after 
one of its owners. 

Nashawena was sold to the same 
four men, and among the subsequent 
owners were Slocums. Wrightingtons 
and Howlands, and in 1698 it was 
called Slocum's island. In 1860 the 
entire island was acquired by Captain 
Edward Merrill. 

Pasciue was purchased by Daniel 
Wilcox and by him conveyed in 1696 
to Abraham Tucker family until 1866 
when it was secured by the Pasque 
Island club. For several generations 
it was well known as Tucker's island. 

Naushon and the small dependen- 
cies nearby were purchased by the 
Winthrops and later by the Bowdoins 
who founded the college in the state 
of Maine, and it was held by them 
until 1843 when a part interest was 
purchased by Wililam W. Swain of 
New Bedford and the entire island was 
later owned by John M. Forbes. 

So it clearly appears that the his- 
tory of the land-owners of Dartmouth 
would not be complete without a con- 
sideration of the Elizabeth islands. At 
a time when there is such keen inter- 

est in Indian place names and their 
meanings, it is opportune to consider 
the designations assigned to these 
islands by the red men. 

There has been considerable lib- 
erty in changing names in this local- 
ity. The body of water which Gos- 
nold called a sound was designated in 
1686 by Governor Mayhew as 'Monu- 
ment Bay,' the naine probably being 
put another form of 'Manomet.' Later 
ir was renamed "Buzzards Bay.' but 
why or by whom has not been ex- 
plained. Gosnold named the western- 
most island 'Elizabeth's Island,' and 
during the following century this 
name was appropriated to the entire 
group but the author of this change 
has not been discovered. The Indian 
group name met a singular fate, which 
will now be explained. 

While these islands were still a 
part of the New York colony, in 1679, 
the authorities at Plymouth obtained 
the testimony of an Indian named 'Old 
Hope' whicli contained some impor- 
tant statements. He says the collective 
group name when the English came to 
this region, was 'Nashanow.' This 
name is derived from a well known 
Algonquin word meaning 'between' 
and is the basis of such names as 
Shawmut and Nashua. It alludes to 
the fact that this chain of islands is 
between the bay and the sound. The 
first liberty assumed by the English 
with this appropriate naine was to 
abandon it altogether and substitute 
Elizabeth as the group naine. Then 
they constructed two variations of the 
Indian word, one, Naushon they ap- 
plied to the largest island, and Nasti- 
awena to the second in size. 

The Xashanow islands are fifteen 
in number and according to Old Hope 
the name of the largest v^'as Katta- 
mucke, a name found in nuinerous 
locations occupied by the Algonquin 
nation. Its derivation is 'Keht- 
ainaug' and means 'the chief or prin- 
cipal fishing place.' In 1734, in one 
deed, it was designated as 'Catamuk, 
the great island or Tarpolin Cove 
Island.' The name Naushon was adopt- 
ed after 17 53 when the island was 
purcha,sed by the Bowdoins. 

Between Naushon and the main- 
land are two islands, the west Un- 
catena and the east Nanomessett. 

Uncatena also .«pelled Uncatincet 
and Onkatonka and paraphrased by 
modern fishermen 'Uncle Timmy', was 
stated by Old Hope to be 'aneck of, 

land or little island belonging to the 
great island called Kattamucke.' The 
derivation seems to be 'Uhque-kat-am- 
est,' which means 'at the extremity 
of the greatest fishing-place,' exactly 
the definition given by Old Hope. 

Nanomeset is the island across the 
narrow passage from Woods Hole. 
Possibly its location is the origin of 
its name. The probable derivation is 
'Nanah-am-esset' and means "the little 
fishing-place at tne Strait." 

Wepeckets, three in number, are 
situated in the bay southwest from 
Woods Hole. Dr. Trumbull stated 

that 'Wepu' signified 'narrow.' If this 
is the derivation the name means "at 
the Narrows,' referring to the strait 
at Woods Hole. 

Nonohansett in 168S was described 
as an island near Tarpolin Cove. The 
derivation of the name is: 'Munaban- 
sett' and means 'at the little island.' 

Pasque is found also in the follow- 
ing forms: Pesketenneis and Pesh- 
chamesset; the word from which it is 
derived is the basis of the names Pas- 
camensett Pasket, Pascoag and Pas- 
saic. The meaning is 'to burst asun- 
der or to divide,' but how this applies 
to Pasque is not clear. To render 
the name appropriate the island must 
aivide something into two parts; thus 
Pascoag divides the river into two 
branches. The exact meaning of the 
name under consideration is still prob- 

Nashawena is merely a variation 
of the original group name in another 
form, the earliest on record is Asna- 

Cuttyhunk is the name of the west- 
ernmost of the group, and is an ab- 
breviation of Pohcuttohhunkkoh, 
which means 'to dig up.' The diffi- 
culty is to comprehend the local sig- 
nification of the term. Dr. Trumbull 
suggested that the definition should 
be 'cultivated,' but Gosnold found the 

island not only barren and sterile but 
'unpeopled and disinhabited.' Some of 
the English sojourners dug up sassa- 
fras and carried it away to Europe 
where it was of considerable value, 
and the name of the island may refer 
to this circunistance. But it must be 
admitted that no satisfactory reason 
has yet been given for this designa- 

On the north side of the island is 
an enclosure called 'the Pond." The 
beach separating this pond from Buz- 
zards bay was formerly called 'Copi- 
cut,' which means 'enclosed.' At the 
west end of the island is a small pond 
with a little rocky island in the centre 
where Gosnold's exploring party 
camped for twenty-two days in May, 
1602, and where the monument is now 
located. The name of this island is 
'Quack' which means 'Rock-land. At 
the east side of the island is a long 
narrow neck probably once named 
'Canapitset' but this name is now re- 
stricted to the strait separating Cut- 
tyhunk from Xashawena. A meaning 
suggested is 'a sitting on like a bird 
on a rest,' which may refer to the fact 
that sea fowl resorted to this point as 
a resting place. » 

Xorth of Cuttyhunk is the island 
called Penikese where Professor Agas- 
siz established a summer school, and 
now is the location of the leper colony. 
Other forms of the name are Paino- 
cliiset, and Puanakesset. A colloquial 
abbreviation is 'Pune.' The meaning 
has been suggested 'at the falling or 
sloping land,' but this is no more dis- 
tinctive of this island than others, and 
the meaning of the name is still in 

The principal names of this group 
have been arranged in rhyme as fol- 
lows: Naushon, Nonamesset, Onkaton- 
ka and Wepecket, Nashawena, Pes- 
quinesse, Cuttyhunk and Penequesse. 

Report of the Publication Section 


William A. Wing 

Old Dartmouth in contrast to those 
who dwelt within its ancient bound- 
aries has known many sojourners, 
those "pilgrims and strangers who 
could tarry but a night." Divers were 
their calls and diverse their com- 

Perhaps the most enthusiastic was 
John Brereton of the Gosnold expedi- 
tion in 1602. "We stood a while like 
men ravished at the beautie and deli- 
cacie of this sweet life; for besides 
divers cleere Lakes of fresh water — 
Medowes very large, full of greene 
grass, even the most wooddy places 
doe grow so distinct and apart, one 
tree from another uupon greene 
grassie ground, somewhat higher than 
the Planes, as if nature would show 
herself above her power artiflciael." 
Doughty Benjamin Church in his 
reminiscences of King Philip's War 
in 1675 graphically states "Appoint- 
ing the Ruins of John Cooke's House, 
for the place to meet followed the 
(Indians') Track until they came near 
entering a miery Swamp, was told they 
had discovered an abundance of In- 
dians. Calling one Mr. Dellano (Jona- 
than Delano) who was acquainted 
with the ground and the Indian lan- 
guage, were soon among the thickest 
of the Indians and perceived them 
gathering Hurtle Berries. An Indian 
woman told him if they went that 
way (towards Sconticut Xeck) they 
would all be killed." 

In 1703-4 Thomas Story, an early 
English Friend of "good birth and 
education," wrote of his visits. "We 
lodged (by invitation) with Peleg 
Slocum, where we were easy and well 
and next day being the first of the 
week, went to the meeting at Dart- 
mouth, which was large and the 
blessed truth was over all to the 
glory of his great name. Had an 
appointed meeting at the house of 
one Thomas Hadaway (Hathaway) at 
a village called Cushnet, north of 
Dartmouth. He was ensign to a com- 
pany of militia, but both he and his 
wife (Hebzibeth) were ready to ad- 
mit of a meeting as at some other 
times before. 

This is not strange as the wife of 
Thomas Hathaway was Hepzebeth, 
daughter of the great Mary Starbuck, 
ar. whose home in Nantucket was held 
the first Friends' meeting by John 
Richardson, Peleg Slocum and others. 
The gentle John Woolman, whose 
journal President Eliot has placed on 

that small and inuch discussed shelf^ 
made visits in 1747 and 1769 here, 
but gives but little detail regarding 
them. He writes in 1760: "Was at 
n;eetings in Dartmouth. From there 
sailed for Nantucket with Anne 
Gamet and Mercy Rodman of those 
parts and several other Friends." 

Major John Andre of romantic 
memory, tells of the British raid in 
1778 in rather partisan terms: "We 
had a few men wounded by people 
lurking in the swamps and behind 
stone fences. The Rebels (Ameri- 
cans) carried from Bedford 4 pieces 
of brass cannon from which they fired 
a shot or two as they retired on the 
Boston Road. Three or four men of 
the enemy (Americans) were found 
bey-oneted, one an officer. They had 
fired at the advance party and were 
not alert enough to get off." 

Elias Hicks in 179 3 writes: "At- 
tended the monthly meeting at Appo- 
negansett, alias Dartmouth, which 
proved a hard and painful session, 
things being much out of order with 
Friends there, most of the young 
people and some of those that were 
older were very raw and ungovern- 
able so that the meeting was much 
interrupted by an almost continual 
going in and out, although frequently 
repro\ ed for it " 

Elias Hicks's teachings were some- 
what at variance with that meeting, 
which may account somewhat for the 
uncomplimentary description. How- 
ever, "Rode to New Bedford in com- 
pany with our beloved Friend Thomas 
Rotch, and stayed at his house, 
where had a cordial reception and 
kind entertainment from him and his 
beloved wife (Charity Rodman), who 
appeared to be hopeful and young 

The next day we attended their 
monthly meeting, which proved a very 
comfortable and edifying season. This 
monthly meeting was but newly 
settled and Friends appeared desir- 
ous of improvement and there were 
a number of prominent young Friends 
in the place. 

About 1805-06 John James Audu- 
bon took passage to New York on the 
New Bedford Brig Hope (belonging 
to Isaac Howland & Son) bound for 
Nantes. The captain had recently 
been married, and when the vessel 
reached the vicinity of New Bedford, 
Audubon writes: "Leaks were discov- 
ered which necessitated a week's de- 

lay to repair, for (Audobon avers) 
the captain had holes bored In the 
vessel's sides below the water line to 
gain an excuse to spend a few more 
days with his bride." We regret that, 
as yet. owing to a lack of certain cus- 
tom house accounts the name of the 
captain is not certain. 

Audubon says he did not mind the 
delay, but enjoyed himself extremely 
rowing about the beautiful harbor. 

In after years he knew New Bed- 
ford very well and numbered among 

his friends here James Arnold, Joseph 
Grinnell. William T. Russell, and 
Charles W. Morgan. 

These brief extracts of travellers' 
impressions during two centuries, now 
almost forgotten footnotes in the his- 
tory of Old Dartmouth, are but sug- 
gestions of what we would preserve 
by our publication section. Anything 
in reminiscence, diary, letter or docu- 
ment that may throw a ^leam of light 
upon a hitherto unseen or dimmed bit 
of Old Dartmouth's history. 

Report of the Educational Section 

Ei.iz.\BETH Watson 

The object of the education section 
for the past year has been the same 
as reported at the last annual meet- 
ing — the education and entertainment 
of the school children of Old Dart- 
inoutli. From time to time, as it 

seems practicable, classes of school 
children and their teachers are in- 
vited to the rooms of the society, 
where the various collections are 
shown and all possible inlormation 

Owing to circumstances not many 
schools have as yet had the oppor- 
tunity to visit us; but we hope during 
the spring that much more will be ac- 

In January the children and 
teachers of the Westport schools 

spent a morning at the rooms, and 
later over a hundred of the Dart- 
mouth scholars came with their 
teachers. Both occasions were mutu- 
all.\' satisfactorj' and interesting to the 
visitors and the committee. 

By invitation of the committee, 
Miss Irene Belanger, of the last grad- 
uating class of the High school, read 
at the December meeting of the so- 
ciety, her Bourne prize essay. It was 
on local history, and was suggested by 
a visit to the historical rooms. It 
was one of the many gratifying re- 
sults of the efforts of this committee 
to make the historical collection of 
value and interest to the younger gen- 

Report of the Photograph Section 

William A. Wing 

In 1704 John Russell, one of the 
"Russell Twins," married Rebecca 
Ricketson in "Friends Way." Their 
ancient certificate signed by them and 
the witnesses, early settlers and 
founders of the Society of Friends in 
Old Dartmouth, was tucked away f')r 
considerabli' over a centur\ in an an- 
tique pocketbook in one of the old- 
time homesteads. Afterwards it was 
borrowed by one whom it interested 
so much it was not returned for 
years, then later it was given a de- 
scendant, who had a photograph 
made. John and Rebecca Russell's 
son Daniel wedded in 1740 Edith 
Rowland. Their certificate contained 
the signatures of the ancestors of many 
of our members, but most blank 
places available were utilized for 
"casting accompts." It was torn and 
crumbled and would have been 
burned as waste paper but v,'as res- 
cued just in time, and has now been 

Elizabeth Russell, the daughter of 

John and Rebecca, married Abraham 
Tucker, Jr. Their son, James Tucker, 
married in 1741 Ruth Tucker. Their 
marriage certificate is that of the 
third generation from John and Re- 
becca Russell, perhaps an unequallecl 
instance of such papers, one genera- 
tion after another. On each one hag 
John Russell signed, once as the 
>oung bridegroom, in later years that 
as the father of the groom, and 
again as the grandfather of his oldest 
daughter's son. A photograph of this 
one was made after some urgent so- 
licitation. It is only such that kept 
this interesting manuscript from be- 
ing sent to descendants living in San 
Francisco just before the fire. Its 
probable fate is too apparent. 

Thus after various vicissitudes our 
photograph section has preserved 
permanently for the future genera- 
tions these three ancient documencs 
of so much meaning in the history of 
Old Dartmouth. 



No. 29 

Being the proceedings of the Twenty-eighth Meeting of the 
Old Dartmouth Historical Society, held in their building, 
Water Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts, on June 30, 1910. 


By Henry Howland Crapo 

[Note. — The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the 
Society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 




Old Dartmouth Historical Society 



JUNE 30, 1910 

The Old Dartmouth Historical So- 
ciety met in their building Thursday 
evening and the members listened to 
one of the most interesting papers of 
the year, read by Henry H. Crapo, and 
having as its title "The Sloeum House 
at Barney's Joy." 

President Edmund Wood, in refer- 
ring to the outdoor meetings formerly 
held by the society, said: "These fiela 
meetings were interesting, in so far as 
they were held on the site of some 
building with historical associations, 
or with some of the branches of the 
original settlement of Old Dartmouth. 

Since we have come into posses- 
sion of this building, the society has 
grown proud, and we have been per- 
fectly satisfied to meet among our 
own household gods. There is a ques- 
tion as to whether this is entirely 
wise, and the president would sug- 
gest that it might be well to have a 

regular meeting outside of our own 
building. An added enthusiasm is 
gained by any body meeting with the 
incentive which surrounds being 
present on the scene of interesting 
events, and the opportunity of getting 
acquainted which accompanies the 
breaking of bread with each other, 
even if it is from a picnic basket. 

Within a short time, two delega- 
tions from other historical societies 
have visited us. Being as yet a youth- 
ful organization, we have not exhaust- 
ed the places 'within our own terri- 
tory, while the older societies have 
exhausted the treasures near at 

The members of the Dynn Historical 
Society who recently visited this city- 
were much impressed with the fact 
that the Old Dartmouth Historical So- 
ciety had accomplished so much with- 
in so short an existence." 

The Slocum House at Barney's Joy 


Henry Howland Crapo 

Whence came "Old Gyles Slocom," 
an early settler of Portsmouth on the 
Island of "Acquidneck" I know not. 
Somebody has hazarded the guess 
that he "came over" from Somerset- 
shire in 163S. The tradition that he 
was a son of Anthony Slocum of 
Taunton I am well satisfied is incor- 
rect. Anthony Slocum, like Ralph 
Russell, are unverified myths in con- 
nection with old Dartmouth. There is 
no evidence that either of them ever 
settled in Dartmouth, even for a short 
period, or that they had aught to do 
with the establishment of the iron 
forge at Russells Mills. On the other 
hand we have definite information 
about both of these men and their 
connections with the iron industry of 
Taunton in 1652 and subsequently. I 
rather regret that the thrill which, 
as a child, I often experienced in 
crossing the stone arched bridge near 
the old Apponagansett meeting house 
was unjustified. I had been told that 
tradition had it that Anthony Slocum, 
an ancestor of mine, was there toma- 
hawked by the Indians as he was 
crossing the bridge. Not only am I 
now convinced that he was no an- 
cestor of mine, and that it is ex- 
tremely improbable that the old 
bridge, or any bridge, existed at the 
time when Anthony Slocum could 
have been in Dartmouth, but a still 
more convincing, not to say conclu- 
sive, consideration is that this same 
Anthony Slocum was lording it as a 
Count Palatine in Albemarle County, 
North Carolina, some thirty years af- 
ter his supposed residence in Dart- 

In 1670 Anthony Slocum petitioned 
the court presided over by the Hon- 
orable Peter Carteret, Esquire, gov- 
ernor and commander in chief of 
Carolina for the return of his hat 
■which he had lost, perhaps, on the 
voyage from New England to his new 
home. It was ordered ty the court 
that "he have his hatt delivered by ye 
fisherman at Roanok. he paying the 
fee." In 1679 Anthony Slocum ap- 
pears as an "Esquire," a member of 
the Palatine Court for the County of 
Albemarle, and he remained a mem- 

ber of this court until at least as late 
as 16S4. In 1680 "Anthony Slocumb, 
Esqr. one of the Dds Proprs Deputies 
aged ninety years or thereabouts," 
made a deposition in regard to some 
"rotten tobacco." 

His will dated in 1688, and pro- 
bated in 1689, making him almost a 
centenarian, establishes the fact, ap- 
parently beyond question, that he was 
the same Anthony Slocum who was 
surveyor of highways in Taunton as 
late as 1662, since it provides for cer- 
tain grandchildren by the name of 
Gilbert concerning whom Anthony 
had previously written a letter, still 
preserved, to his "brother-in-law" Wil- 
liam Harvey of Taunton. His will is 
a lengthy document reciting his fam- 
ily relations and devising his property 
to his children by name, and it is cer- 
tainly strange indeed that if he had a 
son Giles in Portsmouth, Rhode Is- 
land, he should not even have men- 
tioned him. Moreover, the dates re- 
lating to Anthony Slocum and Giles 
Slocum would not indicate that they 
were father and son. If they were of 
kin they were more probably brothers. 

Giles Slocum. of Portsmouth, at all 
events, is the unquestioned progenitor 
of the Slocums of old Dartmouth. His 
name appears many times in the rec- 
ords of Portsmouth, where he was 
certainly living in 1648. and probably 
earlier, and died in 1682. He and his 
wife Joan had nine children from two 
of whom, Peleg the sixth child, and 
Eliezer the ninth, I descend. Old Giles 
and his wife were early members of 
the Society of Friends, and Giles 
evinced that association of piety 
and good business sense, common 
among Friends. He became an ex- 
tensive land owner in Rhode Island 
and New Jersey, and purchased three- 
quarters of an original share in the 
Dartmouth purchase. By his will, in 
which he describes himself as "Gyles 
Slocum now of the Towne of Ports- 
m.outh in Road Island and ye King's 
Providence Plantation of New Eng- 
land in America, sinnair," he devises 
to his son Peleg one-half of a share 
and to his son Eliezer one-quarter of 
a share of "the land lying in Dart- 

mouth," and after making provision 
for his wife and children and grand- 
children gives "unto my loving friends 
the people of God called Quakers 
fcure pounds lawful moneys of New 

Peleg Slocum had probably been 
in Dartmouth before his father's 
death. He took up his father's in- 
terest and "sat down" on the neck of 
land at the confluence of Paskaman- 
sett River with Buzzards Bay which 
has since been known as Slocums 
Neck. His mansion house stood near 
the home of Paul Barker and after 
its demolition was long known as "the 
old chimney place." Of Peleg Slocum, 
that "honest publick Friend," and his 
wife Mary Holder, our secretary has 
given a most interesting sketch in the 
third publication of tliis Society. 

Eliezer was ten years younger 
than his brother Peleg, and the baby 
of the family. He was born in 1664. 
As a boy he grew up in his father's 
home in Portsmouth. The older 
brothers and sisters had married and 
left the homestead. Then came to the 
household a maiden ycleped Elephel 
I' itzgerald, the daughter, so the story 
goes, of The Fitzgerald, Earl of 
Kildare. It is a pretty story so we 
may as well believe it. , This story 
explains the presence of this blossom 
fiom so stately a tree in the rough 
home of a Quaker pioneer of Rhode 
Island in the following fashion. 

Once upon a time, which, since 
nobody can dispute us, we might as 
well say was the year 1670, an Eng- 
lish army officer fell in love with a 
fair Geraldine. The Geraldines as a 
race had no love for the English, re- 
membering how Lord Thomas, the 
son of the great earl, known as "Silk- 
en Thomas," with his five uncles on 
February 3rd, 153 6, were hung at Ty- 
burn as traitors of the deepest dye 
because of their fierce resentment of 
the English domination of Erin. 
Queen Elizabeth, to be sure, after- 
wards, repealed the attainder and re- 
stored the title and family estates, 
but the Fitzgeralds, descendants of 
kings (like most Irishmen), never 
forgave. And so the earl for 
the time being, acting the part 
of "heavy father," forbade the 
marriage. He probably stamped 
around the stage thumping his 
cane. They always do. Where- 
upon, quite in accord with the con- 
ventions of such tales, the young peo- 
ple eloped. They crossed the Atlantic 
to America, bringing with them a 
young sister of the bride, our Lady 

Perhaps the earl, in the manner 
of Lord Ullin, stood on the shore of 
the Emerald Isle, and "sore dismayed, 
through storm and shade his child he 

did discover" as she embarked to 
cross the raging ocean. 
"'Come back! Come back!' he may 
have cried 

Across tlie stormy water, 
'And I'll forgo my Irish pride. 

My daughter! Oh! my daughter!'" 

The Ullin girl only tried to cross 
a ferry with her Highland chief, if 
you remember, yet of the noble fa- 
ther's piercing cries, Tom Campbell 

" 'Twas vain. The loud waves lashed 
the sliore. 

Return or aid preventing, 
The waters wild went o'er his child 

And he was left lamenting." 

Fortunately my grandmother Ele- 
phel and her sister set forth in more 
favorable weather, and although she 
may, perhaps, have left her noble sire 
lamenting, the waters of the Atlantic 
did not go "o'er her," and she made a 
safe landing on this side. 

In what manner our little Irish 
lady was separated from her sis- 
ter, and caine to find a home in the 
simple household of Giles Slocum in 
Portsmouth the tradition sayeth not. 
"Irish maids" were not commonly em- 
ployed in those early days, and even 
in later times "Irish maids" were sel- 
dom earls' daughters. None the 
less it is probable that the Lady 
Elephel did in fact serve in a "do- 
mestic capacity" in the household of 
the old people whose daughters had 
all married and left the home. 

That the youthful Eliezer should 
fall in love with the stranger maiden 
was, of course, a foregone conclu- 
sion. That the Quaker parents should 
be scandalized at the thought of an 
alliance so unequivocally "out of meet- 
ing," the little lady, doubtless being 
a Rom,anist, was equally to be fore- 
seen. The young people were stern- 
ly chided and forbidden to foregather. 
"There are stories of this Portsmouth 
courtship whicli have found their way 
down llirough more than two cen- 
turies that hint of. the incarceration 
of the maiden in the smoke house, — 
not at the time, let us hope, in opera- 
tion for the curing of hains or her- 
rings,- — and of the daring Quaker 
Romeo scaling tlie roof by night and 
prating down the chimney of love 
and plans to hoodwink the old folks. 
Possiblj^ he did not say, 
"She speaks! 
Ah! speak again, bright angel! for 

thou art 
As glorious as this night, being o'er 

my head. 
As is a. winged messenger of heaven 
Unto the white upturned wondering 

Of mortals, that fall back to gaze on 

When he bestrides the lazy-pacing 

And sails upon the bosom of the air!" 

Probably he did not use those pre- 
cise words, yet doubtless he felt them 
in much the sann,e way as did the 
inspired Montague. Indeed such glow- 
ing panegerics of the free vault of 
the heavens might have proved a 
bit irritating to the fair one impris- 
oned in her sepulchral and ashy dun- 
geon. And yet if she did not say, 
"Eliezer, Oh! Wherefore art thou, 
Eliezer Slocum. the Quaker!" her sen- 
timents were unquestionably identical 
with those of the fair Capulet. Elie- 
zer appears to have inherited a more 
practical turn of mind than the love- 
sick Montague, — since he crawled 
down the chimney and rescued the 
maiden. Just how he managed it is 
not explained. The door was mani- 
festly locked. Perhaps he boosted 
her up the chimney. At all events 
these Portsmouth lovers succeeded in 
arranging matters far more satisfac- 
torily than did their prototypes of 
Verona. And so they were married 
before they were twenty and cam.e 
to Dartmouth and lived happily ever 

The quarter share which Eliezer 
derived from old Giles he took up 
near his brother Peleg, farther down 
the Neck at a place called "Barne's 
Joy." He and Elephel were living 
there, it would seem, prior to 1684. 
m 1694 Eliezer and his brother Pe- 
leg are named as Proprietors of Dart- 
mouth in the confirinatory deed of 
Governor Bradford. Eliezer's share 
would have amounted to sometViing 
like four hundred acres. The title 
to his homestead farm, however, was 
not contirmed to him until Novem- 
ber 11th. 1710, by the "committee 
appoynted by her Majestie's Justices 
of ye Quarter Sessions," William Man- 
chester, Samuel Hammond and Ben- 
jamin Crane. The farm in the lay- 
out is described as the farm on which 
"the said Eliezer is now living." It 
contained two hundred and sixty-nine 
acres. It is described as being "on 
ye west side of Paskamai.sett river 
on ye eastward side of Barnsess Joy." 
It seems that in addition to the rights 
Eliezer derived from his father he 
was entitled by purchase to sixty 
acres in the right of Edward Doty 
and nine acres in the right of Wil- 
liam Bradford, old Plymouth wor- 

In what year he built the man- 
sion house I know not. It seems 
probable that it was built about 1700. 
Subsequently not long before Eliezer's 
death in 1727 he built "a new addi- 
tion," an ell to the west of the main 
structure. By what means Eliezer 
acquired so ample a store of worldly 
goods is not readily comprehended. 
It is evident, however, that among 
the very simjjle Friends of his ac- 
quaintance he was considered re- 

markably "well to do." His house 
was a "mansion." He doubtless had a 
few silver spoons, possibly a silver 
tankard, and he had cash. When he 
died in 1727 his estate was appraised 
at £5790, 18s, lid, of which £665 was 
personal, and this is said to ha\e been 
exclusi\e of the gifts he made to 
his children before his death. This 
is a large sum for those days. It 
may be that this appraisal was in 
"old tenor," a somewhat inflated cur- 
rency in Massachusetts prior to 1737, 
yet. even so, it still indicates a mar- 
vellous accumulation of wealth for a 
"yeoman." I regret to say that one 
of the learned historians of this So- 
ciety is inclined to believe that my 
honored ancestor, Peleg Slocum, that 
conspicuously "honest publick Friend," 
was not only a farmer, but a mer- 
chant "on the wrong side of the law," 
in fact a smuggler, and that his fa- 
inous "shalop" was not always used 
for errands of "religious concernment," 
but in a very profitable contraband 
trade. His inventory certainly indi- 
cates that he was somewhat mys- 
teriously a "trader." His brother 
Eliezer very likely may have joined 
in these mercantile enterprises. In- 
deed there has always clung about 
the old farm at Barney's Joy a flavor 
of slaves and smuggling. 

The Lady Elephel, whose hard la- 
bor and frugality had doubtless con- 
tributed to this store of wealth, com- 
paring herself with her neighbors, 
ina.\- have been justilied in feeling 
that she was "well set up." Yet there 
was one crisis in her life when her 
plain home and country fare must 
have seemed humble indeed in her 
eyes. It was all a wonderful romance, 
the coining of that sister who took 
her from her father's castle and leav- 
ing her with Giles Slocum went away 
to New Amsterdam with her English 
husband, prospered and became a lady 
of high fashion and degree. So re- 
markable in the annals of Slocums 
Neck is the entry of this great lady 
in her coach and four, with postil- 
lions maybe, that unto this day the 
tale is told by the great-great-grand- 
children of the "Neckers." The pro- 
gress of the coach through the sandy 
roads was probably sufficiently slow 
and majestic to permit of all the 
neighbors getting a glimpse of the 
great personage in her silks and 
flounces, with bepowdered hair, and, 
I fondly trust, patches upon her fair 
cheeks, and jewels in her ears. When 
the ponderous coach bumped down 
the narrow lane and drew up before 
the door of the Barney's Joy house, 
the excitement of its inmates must 
have been intense. As the Lady 
Elephel, in her severely demure 
garb, welcomed her gorgeous sister 
to her simple home, and they "fell 

into each other's arms" (at least I 
hope they did), I wonder did their 
thoughts hie bacl< to Kildare and 
their fathers' castle in the green 
isle of their birth? The little 
granddaughter, Ann Slocum, who af- 
terwards married Job Almy and was 
the grandmother of my great grand- 
mother, Anne Almy Chase Slocum, 
may have stood entranced by the 
doorstep as the gloriously bedecked 
creature entered and was escorted to 
the "great low room." 

Eliezer Slocum died on the "11th 
day of the first month, called Marcn. 
in the 13th year of his majestie's 
King George his reign 1726-7." By his 
will he gave to his beloved wife Ele- 
phel 20 pounds per annum, and all his 
household goods and furniture, and 
"one mare which she commonly rides 
together with her furniture," and two 
cows "which shall be kept at the 
proper cost and charge of my execu- 
tors"; also an Indian girl named Dor- 
cas, and various other 'tems, and 
then provides as follows, viz.: 

"Item. I give and bequeath to Ele- 
phel, my beloved wife, the great low 
room in my dwelling house, with the 
two bedrooms belonging, together 
with the chamber over it and the 
bedrooms belonging thereto, and the 
garett, and also what part of the 
new addition she shall choose and 
one half of the cellar during her 
natural life." The floor plan of the old 
house which our secretary has in his 
possession enables one to understand 
this very liberal provision for the 

His farm he divides into three 
parts, giving the northerly part oC 
about 100 acres to his son Elieze ', 
"where his dwelling house stands." 
This tract in more modern times has 
been known as the "Henry Allen 
farm." It was there doubtless that 
little Ann was born, and there married 
Job Almy. To his son Ebenezer he gave 
"that southerly part of my homestead 
farm on which my dwelling house nov»' 
stands." This of course refers to the 
old house. The "middle part" between 
the northerly and southerly parts, to- 
gether with stock and money and gear 
he gave to both sons to be equally 
divided. Naturally Ebenezer took the 
southerly portion of this middle part. 

There is a rather quaintly phrased 
section of this will of Eliezer Slocum 
which I cannot refrain from quoting. 
After giving to Benjamin Slocum, a 
grandson, £100 and a salt mars)-" an i 
a fresh meadow, the will proceeds, 
"And whereas, Maribah Slocum, the 
widow of my son Benjamin, being 
with child, if the same prove a male 
child. I then give and bequeath to 
the same male child (as yet not born) 
a tract of land lying near John Ker- 

by's with a dwelling house and or- 
chard thereon, and also a tract of 
land lying in Aarons Countrey, so 
called, and also one tract of land lyint? 
on the side and joining Coaksett river, 
and also two acres of meadow lying 
near Guinney Island, and also two 
acres of cedar swamp in Quanpoge 
Swamp, he the said male child paying 
unto his brother Benjamin £250. But 
if the child which is not yet born 
should prove a female child all tp.e 
inheritance I have here given to it, 
being a male child, shall be given to 
Benjamin Slocum, the said Benjamin 
paying his sister £50 when she be- 
comes 1 8 years of age." He also gives 
£200 for the "bringing up" of these 
two grandchildren. 

You may be Interested to know 
that "it" proved to be a male 
child. His name was John. He mar- 
ried Martha Tillinghast and became a 
highly respected and prosperous citi- 
zen of Newport, Rhode Island, leaving 
many descendants. 

The widow Elephel lived with her 
son Ebenezer in the homestead for 
twenty-one years after her husband's 
death, dying in 1748 and disposing b> 
her will of beds and silver spoons, 
brass kettles and hand-irons, not for- 
getting that male grandchild John anJ 
his brother Benjamin, and giving the 
residue of her estate, which was con- 
siderable for a widow, to her eldest 
daughter Meribah Ricketson, wife of 
William. A year or two later Ebenezer 
desiring to remove back to Ports- 
mouth, perhaps to be nearer the 
"meetings," his wife Bathsheba (Hull) 
joining, conveyed his farm at Barney's 
Jo> of 220 acres to his cousin Peleg 
Slocum, the father of Williams Slo- 
cum, my great grandfather. The date 
of the deed is March 20th, 1750. The 
consideration is two thousand pounds. 
This seems an amazing price to pay for 
a farm on Slocum's Neck. It is also to 
be wondered how Peleg Slocum who 
was but twenty-three years of age was 
able to put up the price. To be sure 
he was one of three sons of his father 
Peleg, who was one of four sons of 
his father Peleg, that "honest publick 
friend," whose estate in acres had 
been considerable, and whose profits 
from his mysterious "trading" had 
been large, and yet. even so, two 
thousand pounds was a "terrible sight 
of money" in those days. 

No doubt the farm at Barney's Joy 
was an immensely profitable one. The 
ground had been cleared and culti- 
vated for nearly three-quarters of a 
century. The fish at the mouth of the 
Paskamansett were plentiful They 
were caught in great quantities, land- 
ed at Deep Water Point, and placed 
thickl.v on the soil. It was a case of 
what is now called "intensified fer- 


tilization." The crops were doubtless 
many times as abundant as the clever- 
est Portuguese of today could raise. 
Then, too, the Island of Cuttyhunic, 
at one time known as Slocum's Isl- 
and, afforded good grazing for the 
cattle in summer. The cattle were 
taken over in boats each spring, and 
in the autumn brought home and the 
increase sold. Yet admitting the advan- 
tages of this farm of two hundred acres, 
much of which, after all, was ledgo, 
salt marsh, and sand, it is difficult to 
understand how Peleg Slocum had the 
courage to pay two thousand pounds 
for it in the year 1750. Its present value 
is predicated solely upon its exception- 
al scenic beauty. It has been a fa- 
vorite place of sojourn of Robert 
Swain Gifford, the artist, who has 
produced its autumn glories on many 
a canvas. It is not to be supposed, 
however, that Peleg Slocum purchased 
the farm for esthetic reasons. He 
demonstrated, at all events, that he 
knew what he was about, since he 
prospered abundantly and lived fo'' 
many years on the old place keeping 
up its traditions of opulence. 

It was in the old mansion house 
on this farm that the first president 
of this society, William Wallace Crape, 
was born, in 1830. He remembers the 
old house well and his grandfather's 
family who dwelt there. It was sub- 
stantially the same without doubt at 
the time when he recalls it as it was 
when the marvelous coach drew up 
before it and the two noble Fitzger- 
alds were reunited. It was a pictur- 
esque and pleasing structure well set. 
A sheltered meadow sloped down- 
ward from its southern front to the 
salt pond and the winding inlets of 
the river. From the windows one 
looked out over the meadow, where 
beneath a huge willow tree was the 
family coach, to the white sands of 
Deep Water Point and the long 
stretch of Allen's Beach, and, beyond, 
to the waters of Buzzards Bay as they 
merge with the ocean. The main por- 
tion of the house was of two stories 
with an ample garret above, the 
gables facing east and west. The 
front door, plain in design yet with 
a certain dignity, was at what was 
the west end of the southern front of 
the original structure, but after the 
"new addition" in 1720 it was about a 
third of the way along the main 
facade with two windows to the west 

and three to the east. The entrance 
hall was small with a narrow winding 
stairway leading to the big chamber 
above, and the "bedrooms belonging 
thereto," the large stack chimney, be- 
hind, taking up far more room than 
the hall. To the right as one entert- 1 
was "the great low room" from which 
led two chambers. To the left was ;i 
good-sized room which in later days 
was called the "parlor." 

Behind the "great low room" was a 
still larger room, the kitchen and liv- 
ing room, the most interesting of the 
apartments. The logs in the long 
fireplace were always burning, since 
here all the family cooking was done 
on the coals and by pots hung to the 
cranes, and in the brick oven by the 
side. Above the fireplace was a panel 
some six feet by four, hewn from d, 
single board, which today is almost 
the only relic of the structure which 
has been preserved. On this panel 
hung the musket and the powder 
horns ready to be seized at alarm. 
On the west side of the room was a 
huge meal chest. In the northwest 
corner stood a black oak high clock 
with Chinese lacquer panels whicn 
now stands in Mr. Crapo's house in 
New Bedford. This clock was buried 
in the barn meadow with the silver 
and valuables packed in its ample 
case, when the British man-of-war 
Nimrod was cruising along the shore 
in the War of 1812. In the northeast 
corner was an ample pantry closet 
which must have held many dainties 
during its long service. Off from the 
living room was another good-sized 
bedroom. Behind was the covered 
stoop with the cheese press Be- 
hind this there were several low shed- 
like additions which gave a feeling 
of considerable size to the whole 

After the death of Williams Slo- 
cum, my great grandfather, the place 
fell into the possession of a descendant 
who was far from carrying on the tra- 
ditions of prosperity of the family, 
and the place quickly fell into decay. 
It was almost a ruin in 1887 when I 
visited it and made the little etching 
which our secretary has. In 1900 the 
house was torn down and now only 
the cellar remains to mark the spot 
where Kliezer Slocum, the Quaker, 
and the Lady Elephel lived their lives 
of love and happiness two centuries 


The rear view of the house is reproduced 
from a sketch on copper made by Henry H. 
Crapo in 1887 directly from the structure. 
The front view is reproduced from a drawing 
made by Mr. Crapo from data afforded by a 
water-color sketch of William A. Wall, painted 
1865-1870, and from photographs taken shortly 
before the demolition of the house. 

"This old New England-born romance." 




No. 30 

Being the proceedings of the Twenty-ninth Meeting of the 
Old Dartmouth Historical Society, held in their building. 
Water Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts, on September 22, 1910. 


By Rebecca Williams Hawes 

[Note. — The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the 
Society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 



^^r * 





Old Dartmouth Historical Society 



SEPTEMBER 22, 1910 

President Edmund Wood, in presid- 
ing said: 

"We have met tonight tor our reg- 
ular quarterly meeting. The period 
since our last meeting has been a 
quiet one for this society. 

This quiet almost seems to be 
accented by the bustle which sur- 
rounds us. 

New Bedford is passing through a 
period of great industrial activity. The 
face of the city seems to change over 
night. Every issue of our newspapers 
tell of the starting of som.e new in- 
dustry, or the expansion of some pres- 
ent one. The older citizen bewails the 
passing of the ancient landmarks, and 
regrets the fragrant orchards and 
green fields of his youth, now crowd- 
ed with tall and monotonous tene- 
ment houses. And the city is growing 
in wealth, and the evidences of it and 
our multiplying population almost 
equals the guesses and predictions of 
our most sanguine boomers. 

The character of this population 
is changing more rapidly than we can 
realize. The New Bedford of today 
is all that many of our citizens re- 
member, and is all that some of them 
think worth remembering. They cry 
out, 'Better the years 1909 and 1910 
in New Bedford's history than a cycle 
of Old Dartmouth,' 

Some of us here tonight are all 
day long in the midst of this ex- 

citmg bustle and restless activity. We 
are participating in New Bedford's 
growth and have a lively faith in its 
contmued advancement. We have had 
our shoulder to the wheel all day, 
strivmg even to accelerate the pace 
°K '^H^l^ins expansion. The present 
aosorbs us, and our absorption is In- 

+i,^^'^l*'" ^'^ ^^^^^ the atmosphere of 
tnis buildmg we almost experience a 
shock. But it is a healthy shock. It 
takes us a few moments to readjust 
the focus, to put on our distance 
lenses and distinguish things that are 
not directly before our noses. Grad- 
ually as we breathe longer the quiet 
atmosphere of this place our per- 
spective changes and we are able to 
project the crowding foreground of 
our vision and discern again the serene 
and beautiful background of New Bed- 
ford life. 

We are not disloyal to the glory 
°l 1, S advancing present; but we 
Shall be better citizens tomorrow be- 
cause of this lapse tonight into the 
past, and because of the corrector 
vision we thus gain of the propor- 
tions of our picture and the relative 
values of the things we are striving 

Miss Hawes had on view an inter- 
esting exhibit of relics of the Fam- 
ily of Abraham and Zerviah (Rick- 
etson) Smith. 

Abraham and Zerviah (Ricketson) Smith 
and their Nineteen Children. 


Rebecca Williams Hawes 



A few years ago, I was introduced 
to a genealog-ist who was collecting 
records of the Ricketson family of 
Dartmouth, as "one who knew more 
about Abraham and Zerviah Ricket- 
son and their nineteen children than 
any other person living." I wa^ able 
to furnish her, then, with many data 
of value, and later agreed, at the re- 
quest of this Society, to gather all 
material I could in connection with 
this typical New England family for 
publication in its records. 

Of the nineteen children, four died 
in infancy; of the fifteen living to 
maturity, I have seen and distinctly 
remember twelve, including the oldest 
and the youngest. My final decision 
as to the broad scope of this paper 
was determined after reading an ad- 
dress given in Boston at the 65th an- 
niversary of the New England His- 
toric-Genealogical Society, by Charles 
K. Bolton, treasurer of that society, 
on "The New Genealogj-." That ad- 
dress should be read before this and 
every other genealogical society in 
our land. It is a plea for developing 
genealogy as a science, — not a dead, 
dry record of names and dates, or, at 
best, including mere data of military 
and political service and distinction. 
He says: 

The present genealogy is w'eak in 
that it does not closely ally itself with 
other fields of serious research. Tf 
it is to receive honor from the his- 
torian, the anthropologist or the so- 
•ciologist, it must contribute something 
to the sciences into which these men 
delve. For any true science does con- 
tribute to every other true science, 
but, in so far as it contributes merely 
to vanity and self satisfaction it is 
xinworthy to rank as science." 

And he appeals for a genealogy 
that shall include and record details 
of family traits, habits, development, 
education, heredity, modes of living, 
etc., that shall make it no longer a 
dead thing, but alive with human 
and scientific interest. He further 

"Has any genealogist ever taken the 
average size of his ancestral families 
and then examined those children 
where the family group exceeds the 
normal to see whether the group ten- 
dency is toward genius or degeneracy? 
Shall we not some day find a great 
grandson who will take more pride 
in the fact that his log cabin ances- 
tor owned a copy of Baradise Lost, 
than that he fought at Louisburg? 
There is a theory deduced from the 
English Dictionary of National Bi- 
ography that the oldest child has a 
much greater likelihood of a distin- 
guished career than its brothers and 
sisters; next to him in importance 
comes the youngest child." 

It is said that the family of Abra- 
ham and Zerviah Smith is the largest 
one ever born in Dartmouth. Surely, 
here is a group of abnormal size with 
which to make an experiment along 
the lines suggested. To make this 
record of more value to the descend- 
ants, I have gone back to its May- 
flower-Pilgrim beginning, introducing 
it by details of the Pilgrim colony and 
its founders, quoted from the noble 
address of Dr. Eliot at the dedication 
of the Pilgrim monument at Province- 
town, on August 5, 1910. 

From President Eliot's Address. 

"In July. 1623, the number of Pil- 
grims who had reached America was. 
in all, about 233, but at the close of 
that year there were living at Ply- 
mouth, including the children and 

servants, not more than 183 of these 
immigrants who had suffered for con- 
science sake. It is an inspiring in- 
stance of immense moral and materi- 
al results being- broug^ht about by a 
small group of devoted men and wo- 
men whose leading motives were 
spiritual and religious. These first 
comers put their opinions and ideas 
into practice with marvellous con- 
sistency. Their works were humble, 
their lives simple and obscure, their 
worldly success but small, their fears 
many and pressing, and their vision 
of the future limited and dim; but 
they were inspired by a love of free- 
dom, and they wanted all sorts of 
freedom- — of thought, of the press, of 
labor, of trade, of education and of 
worship. They were genuine pioneers 
of liberty, and the history of the 
world since the anchor of the May- 
flower was dropped in Cape Cod har- 
bor demonstrates that the fruits and 
issues of their pioneering are the most 
prodigious in all history. It does not 
matter that there were but 41 men 
to take part in the first proceedings. 
It was a small beginning, but who 
can comprehend or describe the im- 
mensity of the outcome. One of their 
first declarations was 'We are knit to- 
gether in a body, in a most strict and 
sacred bond and covenant of the Lord, 
of the violation whereof we malve 
great conscience, and by virtue where- 
of we do hold ourselves straightly tied 
to all care of each others good, and 
of the whole by every one, and so 
mutually.' The Pilgrims were pio- 
neers in the practice of industrial and 
financial co-operation. For seven 
years, all profits and benefits got by 
trade, fishing or any other means, re- 
mained in common stock, and froin 
this common stock all were to have 
meat, drink, wearing apparel and all 
provisions. At the end of the seven 
years the capital and profits, viz. — 
the houses, lands, goods and chattels, 
were divided equally between the 
'adventurers' — those who furnished 
money, and the 'planters' or workers. 
One share each was allotted to wo- 
men, children above sixteen and ser- 
vants. At the end of seven years 
every planter was to own the house 
and garden occupied by him. During 
the seven years every planter was to 
work four days in each week for the 
colony and two for himself and his 
family. No hereditary titles or priv- 
ileges ever existed among them. All 
the able-bodied men brought over by 
the Mayfiower, the Fortune and the 
Anne worked hard with their hands, 
and all men bore arms as a matter 
of course. The assignment of quarters 
in the Mayflower and Speedwell, at 
the sailing of the Pilgrims from 
Southampton, illustrates the demo- 

cratic practices of the colonists. To 
prevent any suspicion of favoritism, 
some of the leaders went in the nar- 
row quarters of the sixty ton Speed- 
well, a vessel only one-third the size 
of the Mayflower, — yet no community 
ever recognized its leaders more 
frankly or followed them better. The 
original company of adventurers and 
planters was never a well-conducted, 
prosperous commercial organization, 
and in two generations they found 
themselves making part of the new 
Royal Province of Massachusetts and 
under the rule of a royal governor. 
We have great difficulty in realizing 
that the original Pilgrims had no 
vision at all of the ultimate triumph, 
on a prodigious scale, of the social 
and governmental principles in sup- 
port of which they left home and 
country and struggled all their lives 
to establish new homes and a new 
social order on the edge of an un- 
explored wilderness. We honor them, 
largely, because of their sacrifices, 
dangers and labors, so bravely endur- 
ed, without any knowledge of the is- 
sues of their endurance and devotion." 

How different is this record from that 
described by a historian of Plymouth, 
who says: "How striking is the con- 
trast between the voyages of Carver 
and of Winthrop. The Plymouth 
colonists, hunted and imprisoned like 
felons, and glad to escape by artifice 
and stealth into Holland, finally em- 
barked for America, unknown, un- 
honored and unsung. The Massachu- 
setts Bay colonists set out in a grand 
array, filling a fleet of eleven ships, 
the admiral of the fleet, in the Ara- 
bella, carrying 52 seamen and twen- 
ty pieces of ordnance. As they sailed 
by the fort at Yarmouth, England, 
they were saluted by its royal guns fis- 
'adventurers' whose enterprise, un- 
der the broad seal of the king, would 
reflect honor and renown on the Brit- 
ish empire." 

Another flne tribute, lately pub- 
lished, says: "If we have modi- 
fled some of their theological notions^ 
we have not found ourselves able 
profitably to dispense with the finer 
qualities of the Pilgrim character. 
We cannot do without their inexorable 
sense of justice, of the equality of 
every man with every other, of the 
little vital difference there is in the 
sight of God between the best of us 
and the most hardened criminal. If 
we are to realize the loftiest ideals 
as a nation or as individuals, we can- 
not far depart from the established 
ways of our forefathers; we must con- 
serve the Pilgrim tradition, we must 
keep aliA'e the memories of the Pil- 
grims, not alone in monuments of 
granite, but in our daily performance 
as living men." 



The Pilgrims of the Mayflower were 
followed by Quaker Pilgrims from 
England, v. ho left the first settlement 
at Plymouth and settled at Duxbury. 
From there. Arthur and Henr\' How- 
land, brothers of John of the May- 
flower, who was not a Quaker, moved 
to Dartmouth and were among the 
first founders of the faith which be- 
came the ruling power in the first 
settlement at Apponagansett and oth- 
ers adjoining. There the first Friends' 
meeting house was built in 1698-1699. 
While still a resident of Marshfleld, 
near Duxbury. Arthur Howland was 
brought many times before the Ply- 
mouth court and fined for holding 
Quaker meetings in his house, etc. 
The Histor\- of Bristol County says, 
"The same causes that sent to our 
shores the Pilgrim pioneers impelled 
the persecuted Quakers to seek shel- 
ter here." Ellis's History of New 
Bedford sa>s: "It is well established 
that, notwithstanding the attitude of 
the Quakers in military affairs, they 
were, as a people, loyal, in their sym- 
pathies, to the cause of freedom, and 
there are several cases on record 
where they rendered military service. 
Whatever may be said of them in re- 
gard to their relations to the bearing 
of arms, it must be admitted that they 
exercised a healthy and benign in- 
fluence in times of peace, and that 
their societies, scattered throughout 
the land, were wellsprings of pure 
and enlightened thought. They fos- 
tered and encouraged education and 
lent their political influence in modify- 
ing many of the cruel punishments 
meted out to the criminal classes. 
Their societies were the unswerving 
friends of the slave. The records of 
Dartmouth Monthly Meeting mention 
a number of cases where some of the 
members were rebuked and others 
disowned for abusing Indians and 
beating their slaves!" 

It is from two members of this 
original band of Quaker-Pilgrim stock 
that we have the record which I have 
prepared for their descendants and 
this society — a duty and a privilege 
which I gratefully appreciate. Start- 
ing at Plymouth Rock, I have fol- 
lowed the "trail" west, via San Fran- 
cisco, to the Hawaiian Islands, and 
have set down nothing that I have 
not verified by copies of all records 
and my own personal knowledge. 
These two men were John Smith and 
William Ricketson. 

First John Smith of Dartmouth — 
Born in England in 1618; it is not 
recorded when he arrived in Plymouth, 
but when about eleven years old he 
became apprenticed to Edward Dotey 
of the Mayflower for full term of ten 

16.33, Plymouth Court. Winslow. 

The record says: 

"That whereas John Smith, being 
in a great extremite formerly, and to 
be freed of the same, bound himself 
as an apprentice to Edward Dote>' for 
the term of ten jears, — upon the pe- 
tition of said John Smith, the court 
took the matter into hearing; and 
finding the said Edward had dis- 
bursed but little for him, freed said 
John Smith from his covenant of ten 
years, and bound him to make up 
the term he had already served the 
said Edward for the full term of five 
years, and to the end thereof; the said 
Edward to give him double apparel, 
and so be free of each other.' 

He then became a "boatleman" or 
able seaman. On June 5, 1651, he 
was admitted as a "freeman of Ply- 
mouth," and the same day was' sworn 
on the grand jury; 1652, chosen on 
coroner's jury; 1653, January, sailed 
on expedition to "fight at Manhat- 
toes" but, as peace was declared, he 
soon returned to his family. 

He had married, Jan. 4, 1648, De- 
borah, daughter of Arthur Howland 
of Marshfleld, entered into their faith 
of Friends or Quakers, and, with 
them, paid the penalty for "holding 
Quaker meetings" and "entertayneing 
foreign Friends." Arthur Howland 
removed to Dartmouth from Marsh- 
fleld, also his brother Henry; they 
were brothers of John Howland of the 
Mayflower, and were both English 
Quakers, coming in the "James" in 

In spite of difficulties, John Smith 
prospered, and was assigned "a house, 
messuage and garden spot on ye north 
side of North street, Plymouth, which 
he exchanged with Edward Dot>", Jr., 
son of his former master, for lands 
in Apponeganset. Dartmouth." I have 
copy of Plymouth record of this deed, 
dated Oct. 6. 1665, and he probably 
took possession then. He was already 
recorded as having an "interest" in 
Apponegansett in 1663. and his flnal 
holdings equaled "1,200 acres or 
more." The corporate existence of 
Dartmouth dates from 1664. There 
were 34 whole "shares" originally di- 
vided into three "divisions" of 800- 
500-500 acres each, "and had lots of 
land left." The land sold to John 
Smith by Edward Doty was "two 
seavenths, or two parts of seaven, of 
a whole share, with all and singular 
the woods, waters, meadow lands, im- 
munities, appurtenances and proffits 
whatsoever." On this land he built 
his home on what is known on the 
old maps as "Smith's Neck. lying 
south of Rock-a-dunder Road." Why 
this locality still holds his name is 


apparent from the fact that the title 
to nearly all that strip of land, for 
most of the time since 1665, has been 
held in the name of Smith. 

The Old Homestead Hill meadow 
burial place dates from Jan. 17, 1692, 
the day of the burial of John Smith. 
His will, of which I have a copy, was 
probated at Taunton, Jan. 26th. 1694. 
In this burial place are laid seven 
successive generations of his descend- 
ants, and one of the eighth generation 
is now in possession. 

He married, 2nd, Ruhamah Kirby, 
and was the father of thirteen chil- 
dren. There are no records of any 
public service by him in Dartmouth 
before 16 72, when he was appointed 
surveyor of highways. Meanwhile, he 
had built his home, cleared his farm 
and cultivated it, and had endured 
all the privations and dangers of a 
pioneer, the perils of savage warfare 
and persecution for "conscience sake." 
On March 4, 1663, he was appointed 
"Leeftenant" of a company raised for 
protection against the Indians. The 
record of Plymouth court on this date 
sa.ys he was the first man to receive 
a military commission, and also a civil 
commission from the governor and 
court in and for the township of Ply- 
mouth. He was on duty when the 
Indian war broke out in Dartmouth, 
June, 166 5. He was later among 

those appointed to distribute funds 
raised for relief of sufferers after the 
Indian war. 

Drake's History says: "They (the 
Indians! burnt nearly thirty houses in 
Dartinouth, killing many people after 
a barbarous manner." Increase Math- 
er's account says: "Dartmouth did 
they burn with fire and barbarously- 
murdered both men and women." and 
gives harrowing details of torture and 
scalping. Ellis's History says: "Those 
who escaped the tomahawk and 
scalping knife fled to the garrisons 
for protection." The inhabitants of 
Apponagansett probably took refuge 
in the Russell garrison about a mile 
above the mouth of the river; the 
cellars are still clearly defined, in- 
dicating that the house was about 
twenty feet square, with an "ell" on 
the south about ten feet square. Dart- 
mouth was not called upon for sol- 
diers by the Plymouth authorities dur- 
ing King Philip's war, because of the 
maintenance of the garrisons by the 
settlers, and for several years after 
peace had been declared, the town 
was exempted from taxation. 

The practical organization of the 
township of Dartmouth dates from its 
first town meeting. May 22, 1674. Af- 
ter its destruction in 1675 and the 
return of the settlers to their farms, 
John Smith was appointed. 1675, 
"viewer of fences" to establish boun- 

daries. At a town meeting held June 
20th, 1678, the lirst that finds record 
after the attack, the term of release 
from taxation, three years, having ex- 
pired, John Smith, John Russell and 
Peleg Shearman were chosen as 
"raters." This record is on the second 
page of the oldest original records ot 
Dartmouth now in existence. The 

functions of the town were fully re- 
sumed in 1679, and a full list of offi- 
cials was chosen. The township seems 
now to have settled into a permanent 
organization, and its steady develop- 
ment is seen from the existing rec- 
ords. At a town meeting in 1684, 
John Smith and twelve others "took 
the oath of fidelity, or freeman's 
oath." He was then 66 years old, and 
no other public record of him is 
found before his death in 1692. In 
his will, dated June 8th, 1691, only 
six months before his death, John 
Smith appoints his wife and his oldest 
son. Deliverance, as executors. This 
son took the freeman's oath at the 
same time as his father, in 1684, and 
appears to have been his successor as 
head of the family. John Smith 

having, according to his will "given 
and conveyed" portions of his land 
to his five daughters, added for each 
"one cow and two ewe sheep" — all 
stock remaining to be "managed and 
maintained" for his wife by their sons 
Judah and Gershom Smith. The 

homestead and all "movables" were 
given to said wife for her life, and 
these two sons evidently remained 
there, or near, until her death. Then 
the will divided all "undevised" lands 
among his six sons, with ten acres 
to an orphan grandson. He remained 
firm in the Quaker faith, rendering it 
faithful service, and all his children 
and grandchildren were equally loyal 
to it. 

Smith Family. 

(2) Gershom Smith, 2nd son of 
John Smith, born . Married Re- 
becca Ripley, June 6. 1695. Died 
April 3. 1718. 

I find few records of this ancestor, 
and he only survived his father six- 
teen years. He li\-ed on land at 
Smith's Neck, inherited by him, but 
the final survey was not made until 
1710, when the "propriators" of Dart- 
mouth were compelled by a court de- 
cree "to make a complete distribution 
of all lands." The portion at the end 
of the "point" was given to oldest son 
Hezekiah; north of this were farms 
of Gershom and Judah; the records 
say "these were parts of the home- 
stead of their father, John Smith, as 
early as 16 72, when he was surveyor 
of the town." Gershom evidently was 
a faithful "Friend," but did not live 
to bear such testimony to his faith as 


his brothers who outlived him and 
entered upon their struggle against 
"Church and State" after the Indian 
war, before the Revolution, true des- 
cendants of the men of whom it was 
said, "Thev did not fear the Indian, 
if they could only escape the Puri- 

(3) Jonathan Smith, son of Ger- 
shom and Rebecca Ripley, was born 
May 15. 1706. Married Phebe Rus- 
sell, .-lie. 

(4) Jonathan, Jr., born April IS, 
1727 Married Sylvia, daughter of 
Barnabas and Retaekah Howland, 
March 11, 1748. I have certified copy 
of marriage certificate signed in 
Friends' meeting by 32 relatives and 
friends. He was a blacksmith, and 
the first of the family, I find, who 
lived in New Bedford. There is a 
record of his house, a low one-story 
building, built and occupied at th? 
"North End," on N . Second street, 
about 1772. His shop stood near. 
Jonathan, Jr., was born in Appona- 
gansett, and probably served his ap- 
prenticeship in the "Bloomery" estab- 
lished by Jas. and Henry Leonard and 
Ralph Leonard at Raynham, or at 
the branch of Captain Jas. Leonard 
at the site of N. Easton village, 
which was opened in 172 3 and be- 
came well known later as the Eli- 
phalet Leonard forge. The latter, be- 
fore 1771, built a forge on land deeded 
to him in 1765. It is claimed that 
here steel was first made in this coun- 
try also that firearms were made here 
before and during the Revolution. At 
Furnace Village in a forge started m 
1751, owned by Samuel Leonard and 
others of Taunton, cannon were made 
for the armv of the Revolution. Jon- 
athan Smith", Jr., was a skilled work- 
man in this branch of his trade, and 
from him was transmitted to his son 
Abraham the exceptional mechanical 
gifts which have been inherited by 
several generations of his descend- 

^" Jonathan, Jr., died Oct. 27th, 1792, 
aged 65. 

Sylvia Howland, his wife, died , 

1822, aged 90. 

(5) Abraham Smith, son of Jona- 
than; Jr., and Sylvia Smith, the sub- 
ject of this record, born March ?-0, 
1747, died March 24, 1826, aged 79 
years. Married Zerviah Ricketson, 
Oct. 6, 1769. They had 19 children, 
the largest family ever raised in Dart- 

I add here records of two other 
sons of John (1) — as being illustra- 
tive of the history of their genera- 
tion. ^ .^. 

(1) John, (2) Deliverance Smitn. 
oldest son of John, was executor of 
his father's will and evidently his suc- 
cessor as head of the family. There 

is record of land "surveyed and .set 
off" to him by Her Majesty's commis- 
sioners, 5 mo. 25, 1711. This was in 
addition to that inherited from his 
father which included the homestead 
now in possession of the 8th gener- 
ation; the record says there were "two 
divisions, 1600 acres, with allowance 
for swamps and afterwards more 
lands." There are nineteen items of 
record in the proceeding of the Dart- 
mouth town meeting concerning De- 
liverance Smith, in regard to his .ser- 
vices in surveying, town matters, and 
building of Apponegansett meeting 
house. The longest one records his 
imprisonment in Bristol County jail, 
because he could not, for conscience 
sake, assess the sum of £60 annexed 
to the queen's tax, for the support 
of a hireling ministry. "Friends, hav- 
ing sympathized with him in his suf- 
ferings, do appoint his brother Judah 
Smith and Benj. Howland to procure 
a hand to manage said Delv. Smith's 
business whilst he is a prisoner on 
acc't of trouble and Friends, and to 
engage him his wages, and the Month- 
ly meeting to reimburse the same." 
A later entry records the payment of 
this money. A local historian says, 
"By a freak of fate, he was committed 
to a jail which had been built in part 
with money collected by his father, 
John .Smith." 

He was a steadfast and consistent 
member of the Quaker faith of his 
parents and grandparents, and in his 
generation bore frequent "testimon.\-" 
to his reli'gious belief. In 1709 he was 
impressed for military service in 
Canada, refused and was taken with 
others before Governor Dudley and 
discharged. He had ten children, 
whose descendants are well represent- 
ed in the Tucker and Crapo families 
of the county. He died June 20, 1729. 
and was buried in the Old Homestead 
hill burial place at Smith's Neck. 

Eliashub Smith, (2), 4th son of 
.lohn. (1) born. 

A share of Dartmouth lands given 
June 2 0, 16 8 4. to Henry Tucker of 
Milton, "to build a grist mill" was 
inherited by his son Abin. who 
sold "land and all mill interests" to 
Eliashub Smith, son of John Smith; 
deed dated May 4, 1707. The records 
say, "he was a young man, and from 
that time the place was called 
'Smith's Mills,' and it still retains the 
name." "He married Dinah Allen in 
Friends' meeting, June 24, 1704. His 
steady habits and the Society of 
Friends helped him to prosperity in 
his business for 60 years, and, hav- 
ing become aged, he turned the mills 
over to his son, Joseph, having faith- 
fully served his day and generation." 


Ricketsoii Family. 

(1) William Ricketson came to 
Dartmouth from Portsmouth, R. I., in 
1684. Records, recently printed, 
prove that he resided and operated a 
mill in Portsmouth in the years 1682- 
16S3, and his deeds of the Dartmouth 
farm are dated 1684; his house, still 
standing, was liuilt by him personally 
and probably in that year. This house 
is fully described in papers published 
by this Society; and a picture of it is 
hung in this building; one competent 
historian calls it "a magniflcent 
house, a palace for those days; the 
workmanship and material of the 
chimney and the mantelpiece (which 
is now a valued possession of this 
Society) proclaim the builder a mas- 
ter in his trade." He established a 
saw mill on the Westport river near 
by, where he doubtless prepared the 
material for his house. 

He married Elizabeth, daughter of 
Adam Mott of Rhode Island, and died 
March 1, 1691. She survived him 
many years and married again. 

(2) Jonathan, son of William and 
Elizabeth, died Oct. 16, 1768, aged 
80 years, 7 months. Married Abigail 
Howland, who died Jan. 15, 1769. 

(3) John, son of Jonathan and 
Abigail, died May 8, 1794, aged 74. 
Married Phebe Russell, who died Nov. 
3, 1770. 

C4) Zerviah, daughter of John 
and Phebe Russell, born Jan. 21, 1751, 
died Dec. 29. 1817. 

"I have enjoyed through life the 
advantage of being, in the true sense, 
'well born.' My parents were good 
and wise, honorable and honored, 
sound in body and mind." 

Frances Power Cobbe. 

Abraham Smith. 

Abraham Smith, born March 30, 
1747, died March 24, 1826. 

Zerviah Ricketson, born Jan. 21, 
17?1, died t)ec. 29. 1817. 

Married Oct. 6, 1769. and had 19 

1. Asa, born Mav 24, 1770; mar- 
ried Oct. 18, 1792; died Feb. 24, 1849. 

2. Elihu, born Aug. 9, 1771; mar- 
ried March 10, 1801; died Oct. 3, 1825. 

3. Obed, born Nov. 22, 1772; mar- 
ried May 14, 1797; died April 17, 

4. Phebe, born Oct. 27, 1773; mar- 
ried Oct. IS, 1795; died June 2. 1855. 

5. Sylvia,' born Dec. 5, 1774; died 
October. 1775. 

6. Stephen, born Oct. 25, 1776; 
married Sept. 21, 1814; died April 23, 

7. Rufus, born Feb. 23, 1778; died 
July 20, 1779. 

8. Mary, born July 9, 1779; mar- 
ried Feb. 28, 1805; died June 26, 1855. 

9. Judith, born April 4, 1781; died 
July 17, 1786. 

10. Thomas, born Jan. 30, 1783; 
died Jan. 5. 1785. 

11. Zerviah, born May 28, 1784; 
married June 17, 1808; died Dec. 5, 

12. Abigail, born May 1, 1786; 
married May 4, 1826; died March 9, 

13. Abraham, Jr., born Jan. 3, 
1788; died Dec. 24. 1811. 

14. Rebecca, born June 5, 1789; 
married Feb. 18, 1808; died Dec. 26, 

15. Sarah, born Sept. 30, 1790; 
died May 26, 1877. 

16. Isaac, born July 26, 1792; mar- 
ried Jan. 6, 1837; died July 31, 1860. 

17. Elizabeth, born Dec. 27, 1793; 
married Jan. 21, 1825; died April 7, 

18. Deborah, born Feb. 12, 1796; 
married Nov. 1, 1821; died May 1, 

19. Lydia, born Sept. 2, 1797; mar- 
ried Dec. 5, 1821; died Jan. 1, 1872. 

Of these, four daughters and three 
sons left children. 

Abraham Smith served his appren- 
ticeship in his father's blacksmith 
shop and married when 22 years old. 
About 1770. he built and occupied a 
house on North Water street and a 
shop on north side of Centre street, 
a few rods east of North Water street, 
in sight of the present building of 
Old Dartmouth Society. In the rooms 
of this Society hangs a picture of this 
forge, painted from memory by Wm. 
A. Wall in 1815. This shop was burn- 
ed in the destruction of the town by 
the British in 17 78 and rebuilt on the 
same spot. According to the old city 
maps, he acQuired title to this land in 
1770. In 1772 he held the title tc 
land on North Second street, north of 
Mill street, where his father. Jona- 
than, Jr., lived, and had built a home; 
and again in 1773 he bought land on 
Middle street, near Water street, and, 
in 1796, land for wharf at foot of 
that street, now covered by the bridge 
to Fairhaven. There his last home 
was built. He was known from the 
first as a skilled workman, and "forg- 
ing," in those days, included all the 
highest grades of iron work, muskets, 
tools, as well as the heavier chains, 
anchors and fixtures for the ship- 
yards, then beginning to turn out the 
largest vessels of those days. His was 
the largest forge of the growing town, 
and in time he trained there his own 
six sons and thirteen apprentices, sons 


of friends and neighbors. He soon 
became a ship owner, and at the be- 
ginning of the Revolution his name 
appears among "owners of vessels or- 
dered not to leave the colony" (as pri- 
vateers), but this restriction was re- 
voked by orders issued by General 
Washington, in 17 75. In that year 
he gave bonds, as part owner, for brig 
Kezia "bound on a whaling voyage." 
Although a firm and consistent 
Quaker, he promptly joined those who 
definitely resisted the policies of 
Great Britain and the Massachusetts 
"loyalists" before the Revolution, ana 
was chosen on a town committee ap- 
pointed July 18, 1774, to obtain "the 
sense of the meeting on the public 
situation." This committee reported 
that they were "grieved at the neces- 
sity of doing anything unfriendly to 
Great Britain, but resolved not to 
purchase goods made in Great Britain 
or Ireland, or any foreign teas, etc." 
As a further result of this meeting, 
a committee was appointed to attend 
the 1st County congress, held at 
Taunton, Sept. 26, 1774, and on Jan. 
7th, 1775, In town meeting, according 
to the advice of this con- 
gress, a committee of correspondence 
of twenty-one persons was ap- 
pointed, and Abraham Smith was 
among the number. At this first con- 
gress in Taunton, delegS-tes were 
chosen to the First Provincial con- 
gress to be convened at Worcester, 
Oct. 5, 1774. In spite of great op- 
position, two later Provincial con- 
gresses were held, with John Hancock 
as president. At the time of the first 
congress, in Worcester, a convention 
of blacksmiths was held there by 13 
members of the craft. They resolved 
"not to do any blacksmith work for 
the tories" and reciuested "all artifi- 
cers to call meetings of their crafts 
and adopt like measures." Commit- 
tees of the later congresses advised 
the raising of a continental army and 
reported the number of militia avail- 
able, stores of ammunition, etc., then 
held at Concord, but a "great lack 
of fire-arms," and sent out a call for 
"artificers of Massachusetts" to come 
to Boston and manufacture them for 
the troops of which Washington took 
command in 1775. At this time Abra- 
ham Smith, with several apprentices, 
was working hard to support his 
family of five small children. Until 
I discovered this "call." printed in a 
small local history of Worcester coun- 
ty, none of his descendants ever knew 
why he suddenly left his home, "lo- 
cated" near Boston, and began mak- 
ing the needed weapons. It was a 
personal call to him, which he fol- 
lowed, much to the surprise and dis- 
tress of his relatives and his fellow 
members in the Friends meeting. It 

is not known how long he remained 
there, but the record of the Dartmouth 
meeting, dated 8 mo. 26, 1776, of 
which I have a certified copy, says: 
"We are informed that Abraham 
Smith hath been assisting or fitting 
warlike implements, also paid money 
toward building a fort, and hath been 
Laboured with by friends and Rather 
Justified s'd conduct — therefore we 
appoint our friends Caleb Russell, 
John Williams, Williani Mosher and 
Joseph Tucker, Jr., to Labour further 
with s'd Smith, and make report next 
mo. meeting." At said meeting, 9- 
mo. 16, 1776, the record says, "The 
greater part of the Committee, ap- 
pointed to labour with Abm. Smith, 
Report that they have Discharged 
themselves in that matter, and s'd 
Smith Justified his conduct therein; 
therefore Samuel Smith is appointed 
to Draw a Testimony against him and 
bring to next mo. meeting, Caleb Rus- 
sell is appointed to Inform him there- 
of and Report to next mo. meeting." 
The record of meeting, 12 mo., 1776, 
says; "The clerk reports he hath 
Read the testimony against Abraham 
Smith, as ordered liast mo. meeting, — 
s'd paper is as followeth: 

"Whereas Abraham Smith having 
made Profession with us, and under 
the care of this meeting. But has so 
far Departed from the way of Truth 
and the Testimony thereof as to be 
found in joining with, & measurably 
supporting of war, or preparation for 
the same, particularly the s'd Smith 
hath paid money toward building of a 
fort, & also in fitting some warlike 
Implements, — and having been Ten- 
derly I^aboured with by friends to 
Desist from and Condemn s'd conduct 
— but our Labour therein not obtain- 
ing the Desired Effect, But he still 
Justifying the same, this meeting, 
therefore, being concerned for the 
maintaining our Testimony, against 
all outward wars & fighting, and prep- 
aration for the same, do give this 
forth as a testimony against him, 
hereby disowning him, the s'd A. 
Smith from being a member of our 
society, & from under the care of this 
meeting, until by unfeigned Repent- 
ance & Return from the Error of his 
ways, he shall be Restored to the 
way of truth. 

"Given forth & signed on behalf of 
our mo. meeting held in Dartmouth. 
21st 10 mo. 1776. 

"William Anthony, Jr., Clerk." 
There is no record of his having 
"repented," but his name is later re- 
corded as a member of the meeting. 
On his return from his loyal work in 
Boston, he continued his trade and 
fulfilled many duties as a good citi- 
zen. In June, 1778, he was one of 


the signers to a petition to the gen- 
eral court, asking for the 
division of the town, also for bet- 
ter military protection, representing 
that "the harbor on Acushnet river 
is the only one between Cape CoJ 
& North Carolina in control of Amer- 
icans, and there are 50 vessels there 
that need protection." As a conse- 
quence. Col. Crafts was ordered to 
New Bedford with 50 men and 4 field 
pieces, in orders of Col. Edward Pope. 
A few months later the town was 
burned by the British, and all wharves 
and shipping burned. With his forge 
destroyed, his business ruined, and 
with a family of six children 
to support (the oldest was then 
ten years old), he was obliged 
to apply for an "apportionment" 
"from the sum of £1,200 allowed by 
the Commonwealth to the sufferers at 
New Bedford." I find on record that 
my great, great grandfather, Samuel 
Hawes of Acushnet, whose property 
escaped destruction, was one of those 
appointed to distribute this money. 
Gradually re-establishing his business, 
during the re-building of the town, 
he again prospered, and in 1796 was 
appointed one of the first fire war- 
dens, holding the office six years. 
During the next ten years he was an 
indomitable worker, and then gave up 
the forge to his remaining sons, who 
in turn left it in other hands, and 
all finally left New Bedford to seek 
their fortunes elsewhere. In ISOC 
he was appointed the second post- 
master of New Bedford, and held the 
office for 20 years, in the homestead 
on Middle street, built in 1794. 

(4). Zerviah Ricketson, daughter 
of John and Phebe, was born Jan. 
21, 1751, and died Dec. 29, 1817. She 
married Abraham Smith, Oct. 6, 1769, 
when 18 years old, and was the moth- 
er of his nineteen children. She was 
a woman of such marked personality 
and character that numberless remin- 
iscences of her have been recalled and 
preserved by her contemporaries and 
her childen, and I find it difficult to 
set down those handed down to me 
so as to give an adequate picture of 
her which her descendants may long 
"delight to honor." Reared in the 
strictest Quaker faith, she remained, 
like her husband, a firm "Friend," re- 
taining, as he did, the "plain dress 
and plain speech" of the sect. All 
of their grown children became mem- 
bers of the New Bedford meeting, 
and even a few who married "out of 
meeting." of whom my grandmother 
was one, always retained the famil- 
iar dress and speech. 

Her married life of 4 8 years began 
in the trying days before the Revo- 
lution, and when her husband left 
her for his patriotic labors in Boston, 

in 1776, she was only 25 years old 
and the mother of five children, one 
having died in infancy in 1774. She 
was all her life, first and last, the 
"House Mother," fully answering to 
the words of the motto I have chosen, 
"Good and wise, strong in body and 
mind," and was exactly of the con- 
temporaneous type described in these 
words by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 
one of her pictures of New England 

"She was one of the much admired 
class who, in the speech of New 
England, have 'facultj*' — a gift which 
among that shrewd people commands 
more esteem than beauty, riches, 
learning or any other worldly endow- 
ment. 'J'aculty* is Yankee for "savoir 
faire" and the opposite virtue to shift- 
lessness. To her who has faculty, 
nothing shall be impossible; she who 
hath faculty is never in a hurry, never 
behind-hand, with time enough in the 
afternoons to hem muslin capstrings, 
and read the latest book." 

As the eldest daughters became old 
enough to watch the young children, 
she formed a daily habit of retiring, 
after the noon day dinner, to a quiet 
room in the attic, for an hour's rest. 
Here was her rocking chair and a 
table to which all the books and local 
and foreign papers that came into the 
house eventually found their way. 
For half an hour she enjoyed these, 
then laid her head against the high- 
backed chair and slept for another 
half hour. One of her daughters told 
me, "She was never disturbed there, 
no matter what happened to the baby 
or the rest of the household; at the 
end of the hour she appeared again, 
took up her duties, and was always 
the last to go to bed." 

She was very systematic in the 
training of her children and the care 
of her home, which was always simply 
furnished, scrupulously neat and very 
home-like, in spite of what would 
now seem a rather bare look. My 
great grandmother Tallman. a con- 
temporary, said of her, "She was con- 
sidered by all to be the smartest 
woman in New Bedford. She 

was a beautiful needlewoman and 
trained her daughters well in this ac- 
complishment." and they knit all the 
stockings in the family. My grand- 
mother said, "when young, I could 
knit a man's sock in a day and even- 
ing, in addition to my other work." I 
have pieces of linen used in the early 
days of the old homestead, and of 
the wedding sheets of the oldest 
daughter, married in 179 5. but I do 
not know whether this or any otlier 
weaving was done there, though I 
think they spun their own yarn, and 
every one of them was an expert 


knitter to the end of their days, even 
those who became blind. 

She continued active in all house- 
hold duties until her death in her 
67th year, as the result of a fall. 
While carrying- a pail into the cellar, 
she fell on the stone steps, striking 
on her head and side and cutting her 
face with the glass of her spectacles. 
In a few days lockjaw developed, and 
after a week of agony she was re- 
leased from life. I have a pathetic 
letter written by her daughter Lydia, 
giving all details of this tragedy. 
Three unmarried daughters and one 
son were with her, three married ones 
were living near, and kind neighbors 
faithfully watched her, though several 
fainted from the strain. Her husband 
never left her side, and for some time 
after her death was in a half par- 
alyzed state. The letter says: "She 
was in so good health when attacked 
that she resisted the disease a long 
time, and it is considered the worst 
case on record here." She was con- 
scious at times, and said, "This has 
been a pleasant house always and a 
good home, but I am resigned to 
leave it." The letter adds: "It was a 
cruel end to a long and useful life." 

The house on Middle street, built 
by Abraham Smith in 1794, was a 
typical New England home, until his 
death there in 1826. From my child- 
hood I have eagerly listened to stories 
of the life there recounted by his 
children and my mother, his grand- 
daughter. As late as 1881. in my own 
home in New Jersey, where she died, 
aged 87, their daughter Elizabeth (No. 
17), the last to marry from the old 
home, repeated many details that I 
had heard from m\' mother. 

The house was of wood, two and a 
half stories, standing on the street, 
with a meadow in the rear. The east- 
ern end overlooked the present Water 
street, beyond which the grass sloped 
to the water's edge with an unob- 
structed view of Fairhaven. A cart 
track led down to the wharf belong- 
ing to Abraham Smith at the foot of 
Mill street, and the children went 
swimming and fishing there. Until 
the bridge was built in 1796, there 
were no buildings south on the shore 
side of W^ater street as far as Centre 
street and the wharf in front of the 
present building of Old Dartmouth 
Historical Society. The blacksmith 
shop on Centre street was plainly seen, 
and the workers there were sum- 
moned to their meals by a horn. At 
times some of the apprentices whose 
homes were beyond the town formed 
part of the family. Over this large 
household the capable mother ruled 
well. It was the universal testimony 
of her contemporaries that she was 
"the smartest woman that ever lived 

in New Bedford." My grandmother, 
Mary Tallman Hawes, said, "Though 
she always had a baby in her arms, 
none of the others were ever seen 
ragged or dirty, and the house was al- 
ways orderly and the food good and 
plentiful." One of the daughters told 
of her mother's habit of tucking the 
baby under her arm, between daylight 
and dark each day, and, with a soft 
cloth, wiping off the inside window 
panes; the outside was well polished 
by the older daughters, who were as 
systematically and thoroughly trained 
in household duties as were their 
brothers at the forge. All had every 
advantage of "schooling" that was 
possible at that day. My grandmoth- 
er, Rebecca (No. 14), drew for me a 
pleasant verbal picture of herself and 
five others being made ready for 
school by an elder sister: "We were 
all strong healthy children, with fair 
skins and round heads with hair cut 
closely. Qviaker fashion; some of us, 
who were inclined to curls, greatly 
resented being so closely cropped. 
Each one, boy or girl, after being 
washed and brushed, went to a pile of 
clean sleeveless aprons, called 'tyers,' 
with strings at back of neck and 
waist; they were of three sizes, well 
made of strong blue and white or 
brown and white cotton. I remem- 
ber choosing my size, tying the top 
strings, wiggling my head through, 
and then 'backing up' to my sister 
for the lower strings to be tied. These 
were worn over strong colored gar- 
ments, woolen in winter, and were 
taken off when we were made ready 
for supper at night. The babies were 
always dressed in white until old 
enough to walk, and the girls, as 
they grew up, made all these little 
dresses and white dresses for them- 
selves, in addition to other house 
work: as long as I can remember, we 
had strong Indian women to do the 
washing and heavy work; the rule was 
that we could have as many white 
dresses as we would make and iron." 
My mother, of the next generation, 
remembered going daily to the home- 
stead and seeing five of these aunts 
busy with the ironing, with twenty of 
these lawn dresses hung up in the 
pleasant kitchen, the result of their 
morning's work. They were made se- 
verely plain, low neck, short sleeves, 
with narrow, short skirts, beautifully 
made and of fine imported lawn. I 
have no account of the clothing of 
the sons but know that it was strong 
and good, of a Quaker plainness. Dur- 
ing their minority they did all the 
outside work of the household under 
their mother's direction, as faithfully 
as that of the forge with their father. 
It is no exaggeration to say that it 
was a wonderful family, strong, hand- 


some, good tempered and happy de- 
scendants of good New England stock. 
I personally remember 12 of them, 
including the oldest and youngest, and 
from my childhood saw much of them 
for fifty years. They were full of 
strong family feeling and always 
proud of their parents and of each 
other, a trait inherited by the next 
generation. The highest praise they 
could bestow upon any of the descend- 
ants of any generation, was to say 
they were "Smithy,'" and this meant 
an inheritance of the virtues, traits 
and capabilities of Abraham and Zer- 
viah Smith. 

As the children outgrew the simple 
schools available, Abraham Smith 
gradually established an evening 
school in his own home. After sup- 
per, all who were old enough to sit 
up after sun-down were gathered 
around a big table where they were 
joined by the apprentices. Abraham 
Smith had a strong thirst for learn- 
ing, and studied for and with his 
children. sending to Cambridge 
for books on astronomy and higher 
mathematics, and owned the first Al- 
gebra ever brought to New Bedford. 
Already an expert and skilled work- 
man, he trained his apprentices, in- 
cluding the six sons, as far as he could 
lead them in physics and mathematics. 
He insisted on the daughters study- 
ing navigation and astronomy, saying: 
"It will stretch their brains." No oth- 
er home in the town possessed so 
many good books. I have inherited 
leather bound volumes of old English 
poets from which all were required to 
read aloud in turn at the evening les- 
sons, and every newspaper, foreign 
or local, that could be had was read 
and re-read by both parents and chil- 
dren. It was this training of "an 
open mind" that led all the sons in 
succession to make their homes else- 

When the post office was established 
in this house (1806), it became an 
historical spot. There were still two 
sons and seven daughters living there, 
the youngest nine years old. It is of 
these young girls that Daniel Rick- 
etson gives us a glimpse in his "New 
Bedford of the Past." Describing the 
home, still ."Standing, of his father, 
Joseph Rieketson. on Union street at 
the end of Seventh street, with its 
high posts at the gateway shaded by 
tall syringas and fine trees, he adds 
an account of an old fashioned tea 
party in the pleasant Quaker home, 
and says, "By four o'clock the com- 
pany has assembled, the great sofa as 
well as the chairs are filled. On the 
former I remember to have seen some 
half dozen or more sisters, cousins of 
my father, all dressed in their neat 
white Quaker gowns, and of marked 

beauty. Somewhat later came the 
husbands of some of them — quite a 
number, however, were still unmar- 
ried." The supper in the "keeping 
room," which he further describes, 
was often returned in kind by the 
hospitable Zerviah, when the daugh- 
ters waited on the guests, and the en- 
tertainment of the capable hostess did 
not suffer in comparison, although the 
details were simpler. 

Of all the furniture of the old home, 
I know of but one piece that has been 
preserved, a chair with broad seat, 
low rounded back and curved mahog- 
any arms, which now stands in my 
own home, inherited from a daughter 
who took it away at her marriage, 
and dated by her "1789." 

Of the two sons left at home in 
180 6. the oldest went to New York in 
1810 and the other was lost at sea 
in 1811. Two daughters married in 
1808, leaving five daughters with the 
parents for many years. The house 
was always a centre of interest for 
young people, and the establishment 
of the post office there brought "alE 
the rest of the town," (as some one 
said of it) to its open door. The 
entire outfit of the post office was 
located in a small back room and it 
was said, "When the mail arrived, on 
the stage, the postmaster would call 
out the names of those for whom he 
had letters, and, if present, they would 
claim their mail. This was before 
the advent of envelope or stamp and 
postage was generally paid by the re- 
cipient." The same writer says: "I well' 
remember the old postmaster, Abra- 
ham Smith, who was a tall man, ad- 
vanced in years, with his large iron- 
bowed spectacles and green flannel 
cap." He was extremely neat in per- 
son and exact in all the details of his 
office, wrote a handsome, round, 
"Quaker" hand, as it was called, and' 
I have several long monthly records 
of mails, copies of deeds, etc., with 
his signature. My mother, as a child, 
loved to "haunt" this room on her 
daily visits to the house, and began 
very early to en.ioy the foreign papers: 
and books of many kinds to be found' 
nowhere else in the town. The ship's 
mails, too, were of special interest, 
including the always pathetic collec- 
tion of letters, never claimed, from 
sailors who never returned. In 1814, 
on the appointment of my grand- 
father, John Hawes, as Collector, the 
custom house was established in the 
southwest room of this house adjoin- 
ing the post office, and for twelve 
years all the principal business in- 
terests of the town centered there. 
Merchants, captains, sailors, foreign- 
ers, mechanics of every trade, and even 
the vagrants, sought business advice 
or help from these two good, practi- 


cal, upright men, who entertained a 
firm friendship the rest of their lives. 
My mother (who afterward married 
his son) has thus described the Col- 
lector: "He was very different looking 
from the old postmaster in his Quaker 
garb, and I remember him well as 
he drove up to the door in his yellow 
colored chaise from Acushnet, a stout- 
built, comfortable looking personage, 
dressed in bottle green broadcloth and 
buff vest, rulHed shirt and a beaver 

Among his papers I found, four 
years ago, all the receipted quarterly 
bills for the "rent" of Custom house 
for 10 years, 1814-24, which read, 
"Rec'd of John Hawes in full for rent 
of office for the Quarter ending 4th 
inst. $9.00. Abraham Smith." And 
yet, during that time. New Bedford 
was one of the busiest sea ports on 
the coast! 

The sad and sudden death of Zer- 
viah Smith in 1817 was the first heavy 
shadow to fall upon this good old 
home, and her husband never entire- 
ly recovered from the shock, though 
he survived her nine years and had 
the faithful care of his two remaining 
daughters. The death of his friend 
the collector in 1S24, and the removal 

of the custom house elsewhere, was 
another shock to him. He gradually 
gave up his post office duties to his 
oldest son Asa (who had returned to 
New Bedford) and later to his son-in- 
law, Richard Williams, who succeeded 
him in office. His grandchildren re- 
membered him. at the last, as a gen- 
tle, cheerful old man, sitting by the 
fire, "life's duty done" and waiting 
for the end, which came March 24, 

The home passed into other hands, 
was surrounded by larger buildings 
and finally used for business purposes; 
but instead of sinking, as some of the 
neighboring buildings did, to the shab- 
biness of a dilapidated tenement 
house, it was its rare good fortune to 
be included in the site acquired by 
the city for the pleasant Bridge Park 
of the present day. The thousands 
of travelers who cross by trolley the 
fine bridge from Fairhaven, pass over 
the old wharf and lane, through the 
beautiful grass and between the flower 
beds that mark the exact site of this 
home built 116 years ago, and so long 
filled with the best t5'pe of the New 
England life of its day, — a fitting and 
beautiful and lasting monument, for 
which their descendants should be sin- 
cerely grateful. 



Asa Smith. 

No. 1. Oldest child of Abraham 
and Zerviah Smith was born May 
24th, 1770. Died Feb. 24th, 1849, 
aged 79. Married Oct. 18, 1792 (1) 
Meribah Russell, daughter of Seth and 
Marv Russell. Died 1795. Married 
1815, (2) Abby Haviland of New York, 
who died in 1818. 

Asa Smith, after serving his ap- 
prenticeship with his father until 1791 
and marrying in 17 92. remained in 
New Bedford and was interested in 
business with his father-in-law, Seth 
Russell, and his son-in-law, George 
Tyson. In 1815 he went to New York, 
receiving certificate of removal to the 
New York Monthly Meeting, and the 
same year married (2nd) Abby Havi- 
land, of an old Quaker family of New 
York. She died in 1818. He return- 
ed to New Bedford in 1822 and be- 
came assistant postmaster for the two 
last years of his father's life. As the 
oldest son, he held the deed in 1st 
burying ground on Second street. His 
only child, Mary, married George Ty- 
son, of Baltimore. Md.. in 1822 and 
died in 1824, leaving an orphan 
daughter who remained with him the 
rest of his life. These two, after liv- 
ing at different times in the families 
of his brothers and sisters in Buffalo 
and Syracuse, finally settled in the 
home of his sister, Zerviah Smith 
Sawdey, who went to Conneaut, Ohio, 
in 1808. He died there in 1849, aged 
79 years, after a rather uneventful 
life. I remember him well, both in 
Buffalo and on the Ohio farm where 
I visited in my childhood; a hand- 
some, hale old man, retaining his 
Quaker speech, although disowned by 
the New Bedford meeting on leaving 
it twenty-five years before. 

His granddaughter, Mary Tyson, 
married before his death, David Saw- 
dey, adopted son of Zerviah Smith 
Sawdey. He died soon after and she 
then married Amos Giltner, a farmer 
of German stock, and with him began 
an overland journey to Denver. They 
were among the pioneer settlers of 
that city, where her two sons were 
born and her husband died. The his- 
tory of her western journey, and later 
experiences in the mines, is the most 
striking which I find in the records 
of the later generations. They crossed 
the continent in a "prairie schooner," 
driving their cattle and "watching 
out" for Indians, as did her Quaker 
Dartmouth ancestors 175 years before. 
For many years, after the postal ser- 
vice was established, she sent occa- 
sional interesting letters to relatives in 
the east, but I have not been able to 

find any of them. Her sons provided 
her with a simple, comfortable home 
in Denver, and then led the roving life 
of miners and prospectors but were 
never very successful. In 1893, when 
she was 78 years old, a relative visited 
her in Denver, and returned with 
much interesting history. She lived 
alone in a small wooden house, (a 
great contrast to the beautiful home 
of Seth Russell in New Bedford where 
she was born) and was one of the 
"first citizens" of the city, known by 
every one and universally respected. 
She told how, at the first civic cele- 
bration of the city, she put up a tent 
back of her house, and served there a 
supper such as she had cooked on the 
plains, with the utensils she had care- 
fully preserved. I think she also had 
the original wagon and much of its 
outfit. It was one of the most in- 
teresting exhibits of the occasion and 
was repeated in later years. She was 
very intelligent and gave a thrilling 
account of her journey; one item was 
of her making biscuits of flour and 
the water of the soda springs in the 
alkali region of Colorado, and she 
used the same water for the "soda 
biscuits" of her suppers in the tent. 
When Charles Kingsley, of Eng- 
land, and his daughter Rose made a 
second visit to this country and went 
to Denver, he visited her and, at his 
request, was given a prairie supper. 
He pronounced her "the smartest and 
most interesting woman he had seen 
in America," and she showed, with 
pride, many letters from Mr. Kings- 
ley and his daughter, after their re- 
turn to England. Her sons were in 
Cripple Creek in 1893, and she spoke 
well of them. She died in 1895; when 
in Cripple Creek in 1904, I tried to 
find some trace of them, without suc- 
cess. The "trail" of this first of the 
nineteen children vanishes in the 
Rocky Mountains, near Pike's Peak! 

Elihu Smith. 

No. 2. Elihu Smith, second son of 
Abraham and Zerviah Smith. Born 
Aug. 9, 1771. Died Oct. 3, 1825, aged 
44. Married (1) Mary Slocum of New 
Bedford, March 10, 1801. Married 
(2) Catherine Farrington. Nov. 10, 

She was of an old Quaker New 
York family, and I remember her and 
her home in Catherine street. New 
York, when I was very young, but she 
had then been a widow many years. 

Elihu Smith served his apprentice- 
ship with his father at the "Forge," 
as it was called, until of age in 1792, 
and seems to have remained in New 


Bedford some years, where he mar- 
ried, and his first four children were 
born there. He had seven children, 
four by his first wife and three by 
the second. The oldest died in in- 
fancy; the others I have known per- 
sonally. Two sons and one daughter 
married; none of these are living, but 
they have many descendants, of three 
generations, still living in New York. 
Elihu Smith received a certificate of 
removal for "himself and family" 
from the New Bedford to the New 
York Monthly Meeting August, 1810, 
in which year he removed to New 
York. He was the first of Abraham 
Smith's sons to settle there, and was 
followed, in time, by all the others, 
to whom he was a helpful "elder 
brother." He made several voyages 
to Europe as captain in the merchant 
service, and was prosperous, but none 
of his descendants have any record of 
his business interests. His grandson 
is in possession of a handsome gold 
watch purchased in London and used 
by him more than one hundred years 
ago. Although he and his wife kept 
firmly to the Quaker faith and a com- 
paratively (luiet and simple life, their 
New York home was a handsome and 
dignified one and impressed me much 
as a child, and I think I was rather 
afraid of "Aunt Catherine," a stately 
woman in Quaker dress, who was very 

My mother told me that Elihu was 
a personal friend of Robert Fulton 
and interested in some of his projects; 
like many of Abraham Smith's sons, 
he had a strong leaning towards me- 
chanics, which may account for this 
association. He died in 1825, aged 
only 44 years; his children were all 
quite young, which may be the reason 
that so little is known of him by his 

His oldest son died in infancy. His 
second son, .Tohn T. S. (Slocum) 
Smith (he always wrote it in full to 
distinguish himself from others of the 
name) was a worthy representative of 
his generation. He was born in 
New Bedford. Nov. 2, 1805, and 

died in New York, aged 

years. I remember him best in 
the last years of his life, a hand- 
some, intelligent, vigorous old gentle- 
man with snow-white hair and full 
beard. When he visited my mother, a 
somewhat younger cousin, I always 
enjoyed hearing thenn recall the old 
days, and to me they seemed very 
"Smithy" representatives of our New 
England Quaker stock. His son. Dr. 
Thomas Franklin Smith, sends me this 
data: "He received a simnle common 
school education, and married when 
quite young a daughter of Thomas 
Franklin, of New York: later formed 
a partnership with his brother-in-law, 

Morris Franklin, and carried on a 
brokerage business under the firm 
name of Franklin & Smith. When 
this was dissolved, he became an ex- 
pert accountant for several years. He 
was always very much interested in 
the study of chemistry and was con- 
stantly experimenting with chemicals 
and making chemical analyses. At last 
there came a time, while he was at- 
tending to the books of the pioneers 
of homeopathic physicians in New 
York, Drs. John F. Gray and A. Ger- 
ald Hull, — that they suggested he 
should go into the manufacture of ho- 
meopathic medicines, as there were 
none to be procured at that time ex- 
cept those that were imported from 
Germany by Mr. William Radde, a 
German bookseller. Upon the urgent 
and repeated requests of these two 
physicians, he finally decided to follow 
their advice, and in the 1843-1844 he 
opened a pharmacy in the basement 
of a private house at No. 512 Broad- 
way, b?tween Broome and Spring 
streets; his stock in trade consisted of 
about fifty vials of medicine which he 
had prepared himself and which were 
arranged along on the wainscoting of 
the room; that was the beginning of 
his 'Smith's Homeopathic Pharmacy' 
which was continued by his son, Dr. 
Henry M. Smith, and is now 
conducted by the latter's son, Carroll 
Dunham Smith. John T. S. Smith 
was the first person to manufacture 
homeopathic medicine in this country, 
and afterward received a diploma 
from the New York Homeopathic 
Medical college, as a doctor of medi- 

Two of his sons became homeopath- 
ic physicians; the oldest, Henry Mitch- 
ell Smith, who continued his phar- 
macy, stood high in his profession and 
\\as secretary of the commission for 
the erection of the fine Hahnneman 
monument in Washington. He died 
March, 1901, and left three sons and 
one daughter. Mrs. Gertrude Smith 
Tabor of Helena, Montana. The sons 
remained in New York, all married 
there. One died in 1909, leaving no 
children. Henry Smith's widow lives 
in New York with his eldest son, Car- 
roll, who has three children. The 
third son, Julian Pierce, has one son, 
Haviland Smith. These are of the 
fifth generation from Abraham Smith. 

Dr. Thomas Franklin Smith, young- 
er son of ,John T. S., is a practicing 
homeopathic physician in New York 
and has been for twenty years treas- 
urer of the American Institute of Ho- 
meopathy. He has five children liv- 
ing, and four grandchildren of the 
fifth generation. 

Elizabeth Mitchell Smith, daugh- 
ter of Elihu and Marj' Slocum Smith, 


was born in New Bedford. Feb. 13, 
1806. and married Richard Mott. a 
brother of James Mott. whose wife 
was the celebrated Qualcer preacher, 
Liucretia Mott. They lived at one time 
in Buffalo. N. Y.. afterwards in Roch- 
ester. N. Y., and finally settled in To- 
ledo. Ohio, where she died of con- 
sumption, in , and was buried 

in Rochester. She left two daugh- 
ters, Mary and Anna C. The 

oldest died , of consumption; 

the other outlived her father. 
who was a representative citizen 
for many years. He served two terms 
in the United States senate and was 
well known as the "Quaker member 
from Ohio." His Quaker principles 
made him a firm friend of all the 
anti-slaver^' reformers of that day, 
and he stood next to Charles Sumner 
when he was struck down in the Sen- 
ate chainber by Senator Brooks, and 
was the first to assist him. He was 
a successful, upright business man and 
founder and president of the Savings 
Bank & Trust Co. of Toledo. His 
dau.gbter. Anna Caroline Mott, grand- 
daughter of Elihu. presided over his 
beautiful home as long as he lived. 
He was active in mind and body to 
the end and left to his daughter a 
large fortune which she used wisely 
and well, and at her death in 1902 
left a will distril)uting it according to 
his wishes, including many of her 
Smith relatives. She never married, 
^nd with her ended that line of Elihu 
Smith's de.scendants. 

Caroline. Jane and Maria Smith, 
younger daughters of Elihu, all died 
unmarried, the latter in 1896. She 
made her home in the family of her 
brother, Thomas Smith, and remained 
a member of the New York Monthly 

Thomas T. Smith, youngest son of 
Elihu Smith and Catherine Farring- 
ton, was born July 5, 182 0. He mar- 
ried Sarah B. Cromwell, June 10, 
1848, a member of an old Quaker 
family of Brooklyn, and both re- 
mained members of the Society of 
Friends, and their children, William, 
Alice and Percy, were reared in that 

Thomas T. Smith died August 4th. 
1883. His three children are still 
living, also four grandchildren and 
one great grandchild. 

Obed Smith. 

No. 3. Third son of Abraham and 
Zerviah, born Nov. 2, 1772, died April 
7, 1831, aged 59. 

Married May 14. 1797, Mary Thorn 
of New York, and they had eleven 
children. Four sons, Stephen, Abra- 
ham, Robert Fulton and Fulton died 
young; another son, Edward L.., was 
lost at sea in the wreck of the packet 

ship Albion, off Kinsdale, Ireland, 
April 22nd, 1821, aged 18 years. The 
youngest child, Amelia, died unmar- 
ried in 18 45, aged 2 2 years. 

Obed Smith, like his brother Elihu, 
was for a time interested in foreign 
trade in New York. I do not find the 
date of his going there, but it was 
probably before his marriage there in 
1797, and he lived there until his 
death 34 years after. On March 27, 
1819, he was appointed port warden 
of the city of New York, and held 
the office for twelve years. He was 
also a personal friend of Robert Ful- 
ton, two of his infant sons bearing 
that name in succession. He was al- 
ways an active, intelligent citizen, but 
no records of his later years have been 
preserved by his descendants. 

The two oldest survi\'ing sons went 
to live in Buffalo, N. Y., where many 
Smith relatives had already settled. 

(1) Archibald Minthorne Cock 
Smith, married Beulah, granddaugh- 
ter of General Grainger, a Revolution- 
ary officer, and they had six children. 
He was for many years secretary of 
the Etna Insurance Co. at Buffalo, and 
was killed while on duty at a fire. 
There are now living three children, 
and several grandchildren and great 
grandchildren of Archibald Smith. 

(2) William Cock Smith, married 
his cousin Hannah Smith; they had 
no children but adopted a niece who 
died childless, and their line is ex- 

(3) Ann Burke Dodge Smith, twin 
sister of Archibald, married John 
Rudderow of Jersey City. She sur- 
vived him many years and lived to be 
9 years old. She left three daugh- 
ters and several grandchildren and 
great grandchildren. 

Phebe Smith. 

No. 4. First daughter of Abraham 
and Zerviah. Born Oct. 27. 1773. 

Died June 2, 1855, aged 82. Mar- 
ried Russell Davis, Oct. 8, 1795. They 
had no children. 

As the oldest daughter, and the 
mother's first helper in the household, 
it is safe to say she was greatly missed 
when she married at 22 and went to 
a home of her own, leaving eleven 
brothers and sisters at home. This is 
the largest number I find in the family 
at one time. 

April 2 6. 1817, a removal certificate 
was given to Russell Davis and family 
to Sandwich, Mass., from New Bed- 
ford. December, 1820. another re- 
moval certificate was given her by the 
same. She returned January, 1832. 
She removed again March, 1836, and 
again returned to New Bedford, May, 
1848, after the death of her husband 
in 1846. Although I must have seen 
her in my childhood, I only remem- 


ber her distinctly when she was nearly 
eighty years old. 

Russell Davis was the son of James 
and Patience Russell, grandson of Jo- 
seph Russell and cousin of Wm. T. 
Russell. The History of Barnstable 
County says: "The Friends had no 
approved minister before Russell Da- 
vis. About 1819 he moved from New 
Bedford to South Yarmouth; having 
a remarkable gift in the ministry, in 
discerning and addressing the 'states' 
of individuals and meetings. With 
but little human learning, and regard- 
ed as inferior in manner and appear- 
ance, he was often enabled, both in 
public and private, to reveal to indi- 
viduals their thoughts and spiritual 
conditions, to their own astonishment, 
He became a true seer and such was 
the general confidence in his declara- 
tions as being from the true source of 
authorized ministry, that the attend- 
ance of the Yarmouth meeting grew, 
in his day, to its greatest number." 

Most of his life, after 1820, was 
passed in this ministry. I have no 
record of his personality, except this, 
in Daniel Ricketson's book: "William 
Wall says, Russell Davis frequently, 
after stating a proposition and saying 
'It is so,' adds, 'It is so because it is so, 
— and because it is so. it is so.' " 

He died in South Yarmouth in 
1847, aged 75. Phebe Smith Davis 
died in South Yarmouth in 1855, aged 
82, and her line is now extinct. 

Sylvia Smith. 

No. 5. Born Dec. 5, 1774, died 
October, 1775, aged 10 months. 
Stephen Sinitli. 

No. 6. Fourth son of Abraham and 
Zerviah. Born Oct. 25, 1776, died 
April 23, 1854 (78). Married (1) 

Sarah J. Alsop, Sept. 21, 1814. Mar- 
ried (2) Rosanna Baker, November, 
1838, the adopted daughter of Gen- 
eral Philip Van Courtlandt. By his 
second wife he had one daughter. 

Stephen served a faithful appren- 
ticeship to his father until he was of 
age, in 1797. His daughter, now the 
only surviving granddaughter of Abra- 
ham and Zerviah, sends me many 
items of his life. Always having a 
great desire for learning, after leaving 
school for his trade at twelve years 
old, he afterward, in addition to ob- 
taining a good English education, 
studied French with refugees from 
the French revolution then living in 
New Bedford and Nantucket, reciting 
to them in the evening. His French 
books, during the day time, laid in a 
glass-covered frame by his forge, and 
he kept up his studies while at his 
work. The day of his majority he 
said to his father, "I have served thee 
faithfully, but I shall never be a 
blacksmith, and I wish to see what I 

can do." It was afterward written, 
truthfully, of him, "When he went to 
try his fortunes in New York, his only 
capital was an unexceptional character 
for integrity and a degree of intelli- 
gence not often attained by young 
men of that age, even with the best 
opportunities; he always sought after 
knowledge with the utmost persever- 
ance and determination." 

The older brothers had married and 
still lived in New Bedford and the 
youngest of the nineteen was only a 
few months old when Stephen went to 
New York, in 1797. Times were hard, 
and, like hundreds of others, he could 
find no place. Nothing daunted, he 
went into the counting room of Min- 
turn & Chapman, at that time one 
of the largest shipping houses in the 
city, and asked the consent of the 
proprietors to stay there a while and 
work for nothing. He soon became so 
useful that he was promoted to a po- 
sition of great responsibility, and be- 
came an inmate of the household of 
Benjamin G. Minturn, senior propri- 
etor of the establishment. In this 
position he is said to have "enjoyed 
intimate social relations with, and the 
most perfect confidence of, many of 
the first business men of New York 
city." He was handsome and well de- 
veloped physically, and in spite of his 
plain Quaker dress and speech, had a 
natural ease and grace in his bear- 
ing, unusual at that time. He was 
soon sent to Europe in charge of im- 
portant interests in England and 
France, by the Rotches and others, 
his good knowledge of the French 
language being of special value to 
them. On his return, his old em- 
ployers, Minturn & Chapman, sent 
him as supercargo of one of their 
ships to India, and in this capacity 
he was engaged for several years. One 
of his younger sisters who, as a child, 
visited him and the older brothers 
then settled in New York, told me in 
her old age, "He was handsome and 
good. I remember well how he was 
made much of by French officers and 
merchants he had met abroad, who 
were visiting New York, to whom he 
showed much attention. I recall, es- 
pecially, a trip to Little Falls, near 
Paterson, N. J., in a stage with four 
horses; his party was made up of 
these gentlemen, but I, the only child, 
was his special guest, — it was a great 
event for me." At one time when 
in Portsmouth, England, his eager- 
ness for information led him so fre- 
quently into public offices, the gov- 
ernment storehouses and dock yards, 
and his enquiries were so many and 
curious that he became an object of 
suspicion, was seized as a French spy 
and thrown into prison; his references 
to the American consul and prominent 


merchants, however, secured his im- 
mediate release. He was also in Eng- 
land during the bread riots of 1808. 

After accumulating some property, 
he embarked with others on a venture 
of a cargo of "India goods" for the 
Mediterranean, going himself as su- 
percargo, as well as .ioint owner. 
Owing to the rapacity of the "great 
European robber," Napoleon, this un- 
dertaking proved a failure. He had 
no sooner anchored his vessel in the 
Bay of Naples than it was seized, un- 
der the famous Berlin and Milan de- 
crees, the vessel and cargo confiscated, 
and the officers arrested and marched 
off to Boulogne. Vessel and cargo 
proved an entire loss. The owners, 
after many years, received dividends 
from the "spoliation claims," amount- 
ing in his case to less than twenty 
dollars for the loss of $10,000. 

Giving up foreign business after 
this, he commenced the manufacture 
of salt from sea water at South Yar- 
mouth, Mass., where the windmill and 
salt covers stood for many years. The 
business there, at first very profitable, 
was rendered of little or no value by a 
reduction of the duty on foreign salt. 
He then turned his attention to the 
"Salines" of central New York state, 
in 1812, and during a residence of 
several years at Syracuse, N. Y.. mar- 
ried, in 1814. and again in 1838. He 
later obtained a charter from the New 
York legislature for a company for the 
manufacture of salt by solar evapora- 
tion. Returning to New Bedford, he 
interested Wm. Rotch. Jr., Samuel 
Rodman, Samuel Arnold and others 
in the project. They sent him to Syra- 
cuse in 1821, (with "unlimited credit 
on New York city") where he built 
vats and established the Onandaga 
Solar Salt Co., "according to his own 
judgment." This was the beginning 
of a strong and prosperous business, 
still a leading one at Syracuse. For 
more than thirtj^ years he was an 
"honorable and honored" citizen. 
Forming a life-long friendship with 
all the well known Quaker abolition- 
ists of central New York. — Gerrit 
Smith, Myron Holley, Samuel J. May, 
and, through them with William 
Lloyd Garrison. Lucretia Mott and 
others, he early "espoused the cause 
of the slave" and his home became a 
noted station on the "underground 
railway" between the south and Can- 
ada. He had built a handsome stone 
house, still standing, on Lafayette 
Square, Syracuse, one of the finest 
then in the city, in the style of those 
built in New Bedford about that time. 
I remember visiting there when 
young, and being taken to the base- 
ment and shown the rooms where fu- 
gitives were sheltered and the sup- 
plies of warm clothing kept in readi- 

ness, made by his family and friends. 
I also remember being a little disap- 
pointed that there were no "sufferers" 
there at the time, but many hundreds 
were helped and protected and sent 
safely over the border, furnished with 
funds to establish themselves "in 
freedom." He was well known, and 
almost revered, by the colored people 
of Syracuse, and until his death was 
called "Uncle Stephen" by them all. 
His was a home of boundless hospi- 
tality; he was very clannish and fond 
of his kin, and a widowed and unmar- 
ried sister were long members of his 
family. It was always the stopping 
place for all relatives passing east or 
west, first by canal and then by the 
first railroad in New York state. He 
became blind several years before his 
death, but his declining years were 
peaceful, calm and cheerful. His 

death was a public loss, and in the 
memorial words of his friend and 
fellow worker, Mr. May, "His unswerv- 
ing integrity and irreproachable mor- 
als have rendered him proverbial for 
honor and rectitude, while his un- 
pretending and kindly manners have 
endeared him to all. Showing no signs 
of dread or fear, he has passed on." 

Rufiis Smith. 

No. 7. Fifth son of Abraham and 
Zerviah. Born Feb. 23, 1778, died 
July 20, 1779, aged 17 months. 

3Iary Smith. 

No. 8. Third daughter of Abra- 
ham and Zerviah. Born July 9, 
1779, died June 26, 1855. aged 76. 
Married Daniel W. Taber Feb. 2 8, 
1805. They had five children. 
Daniel Taber was a merchant froin 
Portland, Maine. He failed in busi- 
ness there and a few months after 
their marriage, Mary Taber received 
removal certificate to the Falmouth, 
monthly meeting. In an old family 
letter from New Bedford, without 
date. I find: "Daniei Taber has gone 
to New York to go Second Mate with 
Elihu (his brother-in-law) to Cape 
of Good Hope and India." His fam- 
ily seemed to have moved back and 
forth from Falmouth to New Bedford, 
and he may have been absent on this 
and other voyages until his death in 
1822, aged 44. 

Mary Taber removed again June, 
1816; a certificate from Falmouth to 
her and two children was given July. 
1822, and again when she removed 
to Buffalo, N. Y., Aug. 1835. In 1830, 
her oldest child, Phebe Davis Taber, 
married Charles Howland of N.^w 
Bedford, and after her death the next 
child, Elizabeth ,Smith Taber, became 
Charles Howland's second wife. An- 
other daughter, Zerviah, aged 4 
years, died in April, 1814. 

Mar5^ Taber, her third daughter. 


Mary Russell Taber, and her only son, 
William Daniel Taber, moved to Bui- 
falo in 1S35 with Elizabeth and 
Charles Howland, and all remained 
members of one family through life. 
By this time there was quite a colony 
of New Bedford Smith descendants in 
that citv, headed by Isaac S. Smith, 
No. 16, who settled there in 1S22, and 
including Archibald Smith and Wil- 
liam Smith, sons of Obed Smith, No. 
3. and their families. A year later 
they were joined by my parents (my 
mother was a daughter of Rebecca, 
No. 14), and still later by the daugh- 
ter of Elihu Smith, No. 2, with her 
husband, Richard Mott, and two 
daughters. All these families formed 
a center of the New England element 
which strongly influenced the growth 
and development of the city. I re- 
member well the Thanksgiving din- 
ners and family teas of those days, 
when sometimes as many as thircy 
of our "kin" were gathered together. 
All the elder ones kept alive the cus- 
toms and speech of Friends. 

Mary Smith Taber was a fine rep- 
resentative of her generation whom I 
remember well. As head of the fam- 
ily, she passed a long and useful life, 
dying in Buffalo, aged 7 8 years. 

" Elizabeth and Charles Howland had 
four children, Theodore, Charles Jr., 
Marcus and Anna, wife of Wm. R. 
Bramhall of Washington, D. C, still 
living but without children. The 
widow and children of Charles, Jr.. 
are also still living in Windsor, Can- 
ada, opposite Detroit, Michigan. The- 
odore died unmarried, also Marcus, 
who was for many years in the U. S. 
Quartermaster's department. 

Mary Taber and her daughter, Mrs. 
Howland, were widely known and 
valued in Buffalo, were among the 
founders of the orphan asylum and 
always "forward in good works." Mrs. 
Howland was, later, a valuable work- 
er in the Buffalo branch of the san- 
itary commission during the Civil 
war, both in word and deed. She 
died in Washington, D. C. 

Mary Russell Taber kept for many 
years the first private school in Buf- 
falo and was my first teacher. She 
died unmarried. 

Wm. Daniel Taber died in Buffalo, 
1904, unmarried. 

Judith Smith. 

No. 9. Fourth daughter of Abra- 
ham and Zerviah. Born April 4, 17 81. 
Died July 17, 17 86, aged five years. 
Tlionias Smith. 

No. 10. Fifth son of Abraham and 
Zerviah. Born Jan. 30, 1783. Died 
Jan. 5, 1785, aged 2 years. 
Zei'viah Smith. 

No. 11. Fifth daughter of Abra- 
ham and Zerviah. Born May 28, 

1784. Died Dec. 2, 1847, aged 63 
years. Married David Sawdey, June 
17, 1808. They had no children. 
She was the third daughter to leave 
the home, a younger sister having 
married a few months before. She 
was then 2 2 years old, and after be- 
ing disowned by the New Bedford 
meeting for "marrying out of meet- 
ing," she and her young husband re- 
moved immediately to New Hartford, 
Oneida Co., N. Y., and later to a 
farm near Conneaut, Ohio, which is 
now within the state line of Pennsyl- 
vania. Here they successfully carried 
on a large farm, and she and her 
husband were valuable pioneers in 
what was then almost a wilderness. 
She w^as always, from her girlhood, 
considered one of "the smartest of the 
girls," and in her isolated life devel- 
oped a strong character. She was the 
first of her family to settle in the Far 
West, as it was then called. After 
her brothers and other relatives set- 
tled in Buffalo, comparatively near 
her, they made her frequent visits, 
and I remember going there whe)i 
young, by steamer to Conneaut, and 
then in a big wagon drawn by fine 
horses of their own raising. This was 
the first time I had ever seen a flock 
of sheep, and they had many. I re- 
member her as a large, handsome, 
fair woman, then nearly sixty years 
old, in Quaker dress, active in her 
dairy and housework, and with very 
cheerful, attractive ways. She was 
quoted as authority on many things 
by her neighbors, which she attrib- 
uted to her "good Yankee-Quaker 
training." In middle life, she and 
her husband adopted an orphan boy 
who was given to them by his dying- 
mother whom they had befriended. 
Before Zerviah's death, her brother 
Asa (No. 1) came to make his home 
with her. His granddaughter later 
married this adopted son, David. Jr., 
who died soon after. David Sawdey, 
Sr., married a second time and had 
one son of the same name, now a 
lawyer in Erie. Pa. 

Zerviah Smith died in 1S47 and her 
line is novv extinct. 

.Abigail Smith. 

No. 12. Sixth daughter of" Abra- 
ham and Zerviah. Born May 1, 1786. 
Died Dec. 5, 1863, aged 77 years. 
Married Robert Wing of Yarmouth, 
May 4, 1826. They had no children. 

She was the last of the married 
daughters to leave the home, where 
she was the head of the family after 
the sad death of her mother in 1817, 
caring faithfully for her father in his 
declining years. Two months after his 
death, when forty years old. she mar- 
ried Robert Wing, then a widower 
with one daughter, and went to his 
home in South Yarmouth, where he 


was a boat builder. He was a "Friend" 
and she carried with her a certificate 
of removal to the Sandwicli meeting 
of which he was a member. She 
made frequent visits to New Bedford 
and was a favorite sister with the 
younger ones of her family whom she 
"mothered" so long. She was bright 
and witty, very capable in her home, 
famous as a cook, and an authority 
among her neighbors. I recall a story 
told of her in cholera times. When 
riding alone in a chaise on a lonely 
road on the Cape, she was stopped 
by a man who said his wife was very 
ill. On entering the house she found 
her in a state of collapse from chol- 
era. Sending the man with the chaise 
for the doctor, she took the case in 
hand. The fire was low in the fire- 
place, so she pulled out the hot bricks 
from the back of the chimney, tore 
her flannel skirt in strips and rolling 
the bricks in them, piled them around 
the cold body. Then, making a firQ, 
she boiled water, made hot tea from 
Tierbs she found in the kitchen, 
which she forced down the patient's 
throat, and kept hot. wet flannels on 
her feet. She soon revi\ed and when 
the doctor arrived with other reme- 
dies, he said her life was already 

Robert Wing died in 18 56. aged 73, 
and his wife afterwards made her 
home with his daughter. Mrs. Steere 
of Providence. After the death "of Mr. 
Steere, Abigail Wing, being over sev- 
enty years old and blind, removed to 
New Bedford and became a member 
of the family of her sister, Mrs. Re- 
becca Smith Williams, where, in the 
devoted care of her nieces, she passed 
several peaceful, happy years, active 
in mind and body. She died suddenly 
while dressing herself and talking 
with her niece. She closed her eyes, 
simply ceased breathing and passed 
on, aged 77 years. 

Her line is now extinct. 

No. 13. Abraham Smith, Jr., born 
Jan. 3rd. 1788, died at sea, Dec. 24, 
1811, aged 23. 

I recall but one record of this son; 
my grandmother. Rebecca. No. 14. 
less than two years younger, said of 
him, "He was my playmate and was 
good and handsome. He was a great 
loss to me and to our father." 
Rebecca Smith. 

No. 14. Seventh daughter of Abra- 
ham and Zerviah. Born June 5, 1789. 
Died Dec. 26. 1873, aged 84. Married 
Richard Williams. Feb. 18, 1808. 
They had 13 children. 

Rebecca Smith married at eighteen 
and lived all her life long in New 
Bedford. She was one of the fairest 
of the "sofa-full" of cousins of which 
Daniel Ricketson has written, and 

rather a pet with the older brothers 
and sisters and her aunt Rebecca 
Ricketson, wife of Daniel Ricketson, 
Sr., for whom she was named, who 
claimed her as a daughter, having 
none of his own. She spent much 
time with them and was much at- 
tached to their sons, who regarded her 
almost as a sister. It is already set 
down in the annals of this society how 
the handsome Richard Williams came 
from Taunton in 1806 and took board 
with my great grandparents, William 
and Elizabeth Tallman, in the house 
still standing on the southeast corner 
of Union street and the present Acush- 
net avenue, and directly across from 
the home of Friend Ricketson, where 
the pretty Rebecca passed most of her 
time. Friend Elizabeth Tallman gave 
him the corner second stor.y room, so 
that he could "keep an eye" on the 
young Quakeress, my grandmother. 
She never told me whether she had 
the corresponding room on the oppo- 
site corner, but she did tell me of her 
wedding, when she married the hand- 
some Richard, who was not a 
"Friend." There was no other objec- 
tion to the union, but this one was 
rather a trial to her parents and kin- 
dred of that faith. As they could not 
be married in meeting, these relatives 
were not present, but her cousin, Jo- 
seph Ricketson, Sr., and his wife, Lucy 
Howland, offered their home on Union 
street for the ceremony, which took 
place in the parlor described so pleas- 
antly at the tea party where she sat 
on the sofa with her five sisters some 
years before. They were a handsome 
couple; she, sniall, very fair and dress- 
ed in a Quaker gown of white India 
mull of plainest make, with no orna- 
ment, not even a flower; and he, six 
feet tall, arrayed in a blue coat with 
brass buttons, white satin vest and 
ruffled shirt brought from London for 
the occasion. The portrait of him 
copied for the post office likeness was 
taken in London in this dress. The 
young couple began housekeeping at 
Padanaram, in a house still standing, 
where their two oldest children were 
born. In 1811 they moved to New 
Bedford, to a house still standing on 
Spring street, north of Fourth. About 
1816 they bought and moved into the 
house on Third street near Bedford, 
which was their home for nearly thir- 
ty years, and where their last eight 
children and myself, their oldest 
grandchild, were born. This good 
home, which I knew well, was a 
worthy successor, in its generation, to 
the Revolutionary homestead of Abra- 
ham and Zerviah Smith, and there 
was constant daily intercourse between 
them. My mother was rather a pre- 
cocious child, and was made much of 


by her many aunts living at the home- 
stead, and from her I heard many 
descriptions of it, as well as of her 
own home with its large happy family 
of strong, bright girls and boys. Six 
of these girls grew to womanhood and 
were handsome and intelligent repre- 
sentatives of their generation. 

Richard Williams passed many 
years in the foreign merchant service, 
principally between New York and 
London. His longest voyage was in 
1811, around Cape Horn to the Pacific 
coast, first to lower California, and 
then north to the present site of San 
Francisco. It is said that his was the 
first merchant vessel from an Atlantic 
port to enter the Golden Gate. Nine 
of this family lived to maturity and 
seven of them gradually left for other 
homes. In 1824 Richard Williams 
gave up his sea-faring life and be- 
came assistant to his father-in-law, 
Abraham Smith, and afterward his 
successor in the post office until 1840. 
He died suddenly in 1845, aged 63, 
while on a visit to the farm in Taun- 
ton where he was born, leaving one 
son and three unmarried daughters in 
the home. In 1851 Rebecca Williams, 
his widow, built a house on Cottage 
street near Hawthorne, and lived 
there, with her two last unmarried 
daughters, until her death. She re- 
tained possession of the house on 
Third street and in her will left it to 
these two daughters, and afterward to 
be sold and the proceeds divided 
among her grandchildren, which was 
done in 1892, this house, having been 
in the possession of the family 76 
years. Before building her last house, 
she made a long visit to her oldest 
son in Michigan, and later spent a 
year with her oldest daughter near 
Boston. From that time until her 
death she did not leave New Bedford; 
hers was a happy, tranquil old age, 
with three of her daughters near her. 
She had, in a large measure, the broad 
mind of her parents and brothers and 
while very quiet in manner, was a 
faithful executive mother to her large 
family, and always fond of reading. 
Her earl\" training in navigation, with 
her brothers; interested her in as- 
tronomy, which was always to her an 
absorbing study. Her grandchildren 
enjoyed her and learned much from 
her. One of the younger ones, re- 
turning from a visit to her, said to 
her mother, "I didn't know my grand- 
mother knew so much," to which 
came the answer, "If you ever know 
as much as your grandmother does, 
you will do well." Her mind was 
clear and strong to the end. and the 
day before her death, after a short ill- 
ness, she lay with closed eyes and 
repeated page after page of "Paradise 

Lost," which she had memorized from 
frequent reading in the evening 
school of her father in the old home- 
stead, almost 80 years before. At her 
death in 187S there were living five 
daughters and her youngest son. 

Sarali Smith. 

No. 15. Eighth daughter of Abra- 
ham and Zerviah. Born Sept. 30, 1790. 
Died May 2 6, 1877, aged 8 7 years, 

She remained in the homestead un- 
til, after the death of her father in 
1S26. the household was scattered. 
She then lived with several of her 
married brothers and sisters in New 
Bedford until August, 183 6, she re- 
ceived a removal certificate from the 
New Bedford meeting and went to 
Syracuse, N. Y., where she lived for 
many years in the family of her 
brother Stephen. From there she went 
to Buffalo, where the family colony 
was large, and on to Ohio, a roving 
but welcome guest in the homes of 
all her kin, including mine. She re- 
tained the plain dress, speech and 
faith of Friends; was intelligent, capa- 
ble, witty and cheerful, and an inter- 
esting type of spinster, the only one 
in this large family. When more than 
80 years old, she became blind. She 
was then living with her youngest sis- 
ter, Mrs. Savage, in Syracuse, but 
longing for the associations of her 
birthplace, she returned to New Bed- 
ford to the home of her nieces, the 
daughters of her sister, Rebecca Wil- 
liams. Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Abigail 
Wing, her sisters, had passed on from 
this home not long before, and she 
lived there, cheery and well, for six 
years. During this time she fell and 
broke her hip, but became again able 
to walk for three years after. She 
was found asleep one pleasant May 
morning, "the sleep that knows no 
waking," and is buried in the family 
lot in New Bedford. 

Isaac Slociini Smith. 

No. 16. Born July 26, 1792. Died 
July 31, 1860. Married Mrs. Olivia 
Congdon Rvidd in 1837. They had no 

The youngest son of Abraham and 
Zerviah Smith worked as an appren- 
tice to his father until near his major- 
ity, and was always fond of books 
and the study of higher branches of 
mechanics. He left New Bedford for 
New York in June. 1812. receiving a 
removal certificate from the New Bed- 
ford meeting and was for some years 
in the employ of his older brothers 
in New York. In 1813, soon after his 
majority, he went as supercargo from 
New York to Lisbon, Portugal, and, 
leaving the vessel there, traveled in 
France, returning home via England. 


While at the home of the consul at 
Lisbon, he was much interested in two 
other guests of the family, a lady and 
her beautiful little daughter, of whom 
he grew very fond, the mother show- 
ed much interest in his descriptions of 
his home life in America. Many years 
after, he was pleased to discover in 
the child he had often tended on his 
knee. Eugenie, empress of France and 
wife of Napoleon 3rd. All his remin- 
iscences of this travel in Europe were, 
in later years, of intense interest to 
his family, including myself, who lived 
near him in Buffalo in my childhood. 
The interest of his brothers in Eu- 
rope was more strictly commercial, 
but his broader mind seems to have 
absorbed much of historical, scientific 
and artistic interest, and his later 
studies in all these lines gained him 
the family title of "The Encyclopedia." 
To him I always went as a child when 
I wanted to "know why," which 
pleased him verj^ much. He would 
say, "Sit down here at my desk, and 
I will explain so you will never forget 
it," and I never did! His small library 
of standard encyclopedias, scientific 
and historical books, was the first and 
best one in his generation of the fam- 
ily. Before visiting Europe he had 
followed the example of his brother 
Stephen twenty years before and 
studied the French language, and 
most of the books used in his future 
engineering work were in that lan- 

About the year 1822, when he was 
thirty years old, he went to Buffalo, 
N. Y., then beginning to be "colon- 
ized" by many New England families. 
Here he became senior partner of the 
firm of Smith & Macy (Jolin B. Macy 
of Nantucket) "forwarding mer- 
chants." Buffalo was fast becoming 
one of the largest ports in the United 
States; all merchandise and passen- 
gers arriving from the east by the 
Erie canal were there transferred to 
sail and steam craft for the West, a 
very indefinite term then. There was 
no Chicago, and I think the limit of 
trade was at Detroit. He soon took 
a leading place in the development of 
the city, and was made the first secre- 
tary of the Western Insurance Co. of 
Buffalo in 1825. He was the unsuc- 
cessful candidate of a Workingman's 
party for governor of the state in 
1830. In 1831 he was one of a com- 
mittee of citizens to promote the con- 
struction of a railroad to Buffalo. He 
was the first alderman of the first 
ward of Buffalo, elected May 28, 1832, 
and was re-elected in 183 4. During 
ten years of practical business and 
public services, he steadily pursued 
his study of mechanical engineering, 
and in 1832 was appointed as superin- 

tendent of the building of the light- 
house on the end of the breakwater 
at the entrance to Buffalo harbor, 
which stands today unsurpassed as a 
piece of masonry, from foundation up. 
Exposed to the fierce storms and 
heavy ice drifting toward the mouth 
of the Niagara river, it is now 77 
years old and firm as the rock on 
which it was built. "The People's 
Magazine," published 1834, in Boston, 
has a picture of this lighthouse and 
"a copy of the original sketch of its 
construction, by Isaac S. Smith, super- 
intendent." This is a minute descrip- 
tion of all details of his work, be- 
ginning 15 feet below water at the 
end of the mole or breakwater ex- 
tending 1.500 feet from the shore. I 
remember going into this lighthouse 
with him. as a child, when he was 
o^■erseeing some repairs to the outer 
wall of the mole after the record gale 
of 1845, and being much interested 
in the "basement" of the tower, which 
had stone walls seven feet thick and 
formed an "oil vault." My father 
then held the government contract 
for furnishing all the lighthouses on 
the lakes with New Bedford refined 
sperm oil. "the only oil that would 
not freeze." Isaac Smith was always 
satisfied with, and proud of, this work, 
saying, "This is my monument; no 
one need ever trouble to give me an- 
other." Continuing in different busi- 
ness interests for many years, in 1856 
he again contracted for the building 
of a second lighthouse about a mile 
northwest of the old one, on a ledge 
of rocks at the mouth of the Niagara 
river, directly in the middle of the 
fierce current there. This contract 
was based on the government survey 
of the ledge, which he proved incor- 
rect; a new survey was necessary, and 
the contract was carried out and light- 
house built, where it still stands on 
the spot he selected. This involved a 
large extra expenditure, for which he 
sent in a claim to the government. 
This claim was held up in Congress 
for several years, but was finally paid 
before his death in 1860. Thus he has 
two lasting monuments of his own 
building, both witnesses to his me- 
chanical skill obtained at the forge, 
and his unvarying thoroughness in 
everything he did. 

At his death in Syracuse, where he 
passed the last years of his life, Rev. 
S. J. May said of him, "His integrity 
was instinctive, was earnest, constant 
, and unswerving. He was. scrupulously 
' exact and solicitously just and fair in 
all his dealings, unbendingly devoted 
to his own idea of truth and right. 
He was favored in his early training, 
and was left, through his Quaker par- 
entage, unhindered, if not directly en- 


couraged, toward independence in 
thought. Character he accounted the 
all-substantial possession in this world 
and every other; to the end he showed 
fortitude and good cheer, and his 
death was calm and brave." 
Elizabeth Smith. 

No. 17. Ninth daughter of Abra- 
ham and Zerviah. Born Dec. 27. 1793. 
Died April 7. 18S1. Married Wmg 
Russell of New Bedford Jan. 1. 1825. 
They had three children. 

Elizabeth Smith was the last child 
married from the old homestead, the 
year before the death of her father 
and the breaking up of the family. 
She was then 32 years old and had 
been one of the "faithful ones" since 
the death of her mother nine years 
before. Wing Russell, son of Perry 
and Sybil Winslow Russell, was an 
apothecary. Tteir first home was on 
Third street, south of Union, and he 
had, in addition to his shop on Water 
street, a manufactory of "Prussian 
Blue" on William street, on the site 
of the present Y. M. C. A. building. 
Their three children were born in New 
Bedford, the youngest, Stephen Smith 
Russell, dying in infancy. Dec. 2 7, 
1834. a removal certificate was given 
Wing Russell and family to the Ham- 
burgh Meeting, near Buffalo, N. Y., 
and they removed, with their two 
children, to join the Smith colony 
there. He formed a business partner- 
ship with my father under the firm 
name of Russell & Hawes, forwarding 
merchants, but his health soon failed 
and he died in New Bedford in 1844, 
aged only 41 years, and was buried 
there. Elizabeth Smith Russell then 
made her home for many years with 
her brother Stephen in Syracuse, and 
on the marriage of her only daughter 
to Wells D. Walbridge of Buffalo, 
again removed with her to that city 
in 1848, where she lived many years. 
Her daughter then removing to Cal- 
ifornia and Idaho, where her husband 
had mining interests, she remained 
with her son at his home in Erie. Pa., 
until 1872, when she joined Mr. and 
Mrs. Walbridge and their only son 
in Napa, Cal., going the same year 
to San Francisco, where she celebrat- 
ed her 80th birthday. Although so 
far from the rest of her family, it 
was made a festival occasion by a 
large gathering of new friends, many 
of whom had never seen so old a 
person, and none had ever seen the 
Quaker dress worn. She was very 
handsome, her hair as white as her 
Quaker cap and handkerchief. Her 
birthday cake with its wreath of flow- 
ers, its eighty candles and eighty gold 
dollars set into the edge of the frost- 
ing, was the first one ever seen iii 
San Francisco. She retained always 

the fair complexion of her youth. She 
was the sister, then about 10 years 
old, who visited Stephen Smith in N. 
Y., and the French officers she met 
there pronounced her the most beau- 
tiful "jeune fllle" they had ever seen, 
in her simple white Quaker gown with 
neck and arms uncovered. In 1879 
the family returned to New York city, 
where her son-in-law died suddenly 
the next year. She was not happy in 
her city life, and although perfectly 
well physically, her memory failed 
somewhat and she longed for the 
"open air," as she said; so they came 
to our home in New Jersey, to her 
great delight, and she said, "I know I 
shall be happy here." After a happy 
week, with all her senses normal, she 
complained one bright morning of a 
tired feeling, laid down on the couch 
and fell asleep instantly. The joy of 
the change had snapped the frail 
thread and ended a varied life of 87 
years. Her only daughter, Lydia Rus- 
sell Walbridge, then joined her son 
Russell D. Walbridge (born in 1849) 
in the Hawaiian islands, where for 
many years he had charge of a large 
sugar plantation on the island of Maui. 
He was the second great grandson of 
Abraham Smith to enter the Troy 
Polytechnic Institute as the youngest 
member of his class and to graduate 
at the head of it. During his course 
there he took a year's leave and joined 
his father, who was superintendent of 
a silver mine at Boise City. Idaho. Re- 
turning to finish his course at Troy, 
he then spent several years as a min- 
ing engineer at Tucson, Colorado, go- 
ing from there to Maui. In Honolulu 
he married Berenice Parke, and after 
a visit to the Atlantic coast returned 
to Honolulu where his only son, Rus- 
sell Parke Walbridge. was born in 
1905. Russell D. died in His 

son early showed a talent for his fa- 
ther's profession, but while arrange- 
ments were being made for his edu- 
cation in New England, to prepare 
him for the Troy Institute, he died 
suddenly, from the effects of a fall, 
aged ten years. 

For this boy of the fourth genera- 
tion from Abraham Smith, had been 
saved all the most valuable relics and 
records which are here tonight, in- 
cluding a certified copy of apprentice- 
ship and deed of land of John Smith 
in Plymouth and many other certified 
records, from the Old Dartmouth 
Friends Meeting. This is the longest 
record, in time and items, that I have 
found. I have made it as complete 
as possible because I have inherited 
all these treasures. That line of Eliz- 
abeth's descendants is now extinct. 

Robert Wing Russell, only son of 
Elizabeth S. Russell, was born Oct. 
12. 1832, was educated in Syracuse 


and Buffalo, and later became cashiei' 
of the First National Bank of Erie. 
He married the daughter of Wm. H. 
Curry, pre.sident of the Bank, and 
died at Utica, New York, in 1907, 
leaving three daughters and one son. 
There are now living four grandchil- 
dren and tw^o great grandchildren of 
Elizabeth Smith Russell. 

Deborah Smith. 

No. IS. Tenth daughter of Abra- 
ham and Zerviah. Born Feb. 12, 1796. 
Died May 1st, 18 79, aged 83 years. 
Married Joseph Taber Nov. 21, 1821. 
Thej' had five children. 

Deborah Smith, as one of the young- 
est of the family, remained at the 
homestead four years after the death 
of her mother, marrying when 21 
years old. Joseph Taber was the only 
son of Francis and Lydia Russell Ta- 
ber, and all were esteemed and life- 
long members of the New Bedford 
Friends Meeting. He was early ap- 
prenticed to his father as a "pump 
and block maker" in his red-painted 
shop on Front street near Union, and 
continued the business successfully for 
many years. He lived all his life in 
New Bedford and a full record of his 
family was kept by his son Edward S. 
Taber. I recall one story told of him 
which made an impression on my 
childish mind. In the first year of his 
apprenticeship he spoiled by careless 
measurements several pieces of the 
valuable "lignum vitae" of which the 
blocks for the rigging of vessels were 
made, and for a time had a habit of 
measuring and re-measuring the wood 
anxiously, to be "sure" before cutting 
it. One day he realized that this was 
not the way to make an exact work- 
man, and he resolved to never make 
but one measure, and that an exact 
one. and to remember that one. He 
kept to this rule through life, and said, 
"I didn't spoil much wood after that." 
I wish to gratefully record that to 
this day I have tried to practice this 

They were among the few of Abra- 
ham Smith's family who never left 
New Bedford. Their first home was — 
and in 1831 they built and moved 
into "the new house" on Fourth 
street where they lived forty-eight 
years and where they celebrated their 
golden wedding in 1871. From her 
childhood Deborah Smith developed 
an individual talent before unknown 
in the family. In one of his addresses 
President Wood of this Society speaks 
of "Art suffering from the cooling 
and quieting winds of Dartmouth 
Quakerism" and Deborah's first at- 
tempts were discouraged and she felt 
the full force of their infiuence. Her 
father, while insisting on good pen- 
manship for all his children, had no 

taste or sympathy for what, to him, 
in his strong struggle for education, 
seemed a "vanity." While still young, 
her brother Stephen brought her from 
Europe the first colored picture she 
had ever seen, and, "wonder of won- 
ders," a paint box and brushes. I be- 
lieve this picture is now in the pos- 
session of a granddaughter who in- 
herited her talent. In fear and trem- 
bling, she took them to the attic, lest 
they should be condemned, and hid 
them behind a piece of furniture near 
the low window under the eaves; 
when she could steal away unobserv- 
ed, she would sit on the floor, copy 
with pencil and then color any pic- 
ture she could find in the household 
library — and they were very few — and 
also perfected herself in the writing 
and printing, which later became a 
really wonderful accomplishment. I 
do not know how soon she ventured 
to bring forth her work to the light 
of day, but I have here specimens of 
her work in colors and in ink dated 
in 1812 when she was 16 years old 
and presented to her sisters. These 
are drawn with the pen and carefully 
colored; the details are many of them 
equal to the finest etchings of the 
present day. After her marriage, her 
skill is shown in many "Albums," one 
made as a wedding gift to her young- 
est sister in 1821, and in the marking 
of the household linen of several gen- 
erations; the whole wedding linen of 
her nieces and children showed her 
patient work. I, myself, of a later 
generation, used to carr.y my new 
pocket handkerchiefs and choose a de- 
sign for each from her little book of 
patterns. She used quill pens and 
made them herself, and her lines were 
as true as those of the best engrav- 
ing tools of the present day. She 
also drew designs for many beautiful 
white quilts. I am the proud posses- 
sor of one made for my mother on 
her marriage. It was in the frame 
six months, the design of one side 
being first drawn by her and then 
quilted by herself and sisters, who 
came every week with their thimbles 
and put in the tiny stitches to which 
they had been trained in the home- 
stead: then it was "rolled and ready 
for next marking." None of the 

younger ones were allowed to touch 
it. There are specimens of her pen 
work on fine cambric, from classical 
pictures, that are worthily framed and 
treasured by her descendants. With 
no instruction whatever from others, 
she later made oil portraits of her 
two daughters who died, aged 18 and 


Not long before his death she made 
a small pencil sketch of her father, 
and one, from memory, of her moth- 


er, of which small photographs were 
made several years after. When the 
present post office was built In 189 3, 
and it was decided to place pictures 
of all the postmasters in one of its 
rooms, an enlarged copy of this like- 
ness was made by a great grand- 
daughter of Deborah Taber and pre- 
sented to the city by Edwrd S. Taber, 
his grandson. As no portrait of the 
first postmaster, William Tobey, could 
be found, this picture of Abraham 
Smith hangs at the head of the line, 
followed b^■ that of Richard Williams, 
his son-in-law and successor in office, 
who held the position for 14 years. 
It is an instance of the irony of fate 
that this portrait owes its existence to 
the loving skill of the daughter, whose 
talent he discouraged, and to her 
granddaughter who inherits her tal- 
ent for art. 

Deborah Taber rarely left New Bed- 
ford, except for visits "on the Cape." 
In her last days, her senses were keen 
but her memory failed, and she passed 
on quietly in her 84th year. 

Edward Smith Taber, her only son, 
born March, 15, 1826, died , re- 

mained a worthy citizen of New Bed- 
ford through life. He was an active, 
successful business man and president 
of the Morse Twist Drill Co., with 
which he was connected at his death. 
He married Emily H. Allen of New 
Bedford and they had three children 
and five grandchildren, all now liv- 
ing. A grandson inherits the artistic 
talent of his great grandmother and 
has just entered himself at the Ecole 
des Beaux Arts at Paris for study, a 
decided advance from her "perch" by 
the attic window of the old homestead. 

Caroline Smith Taber, born Feb. 3, 
1824. died . Married Samuel 

Morgan of Albany, N. Y.. in 
and later moved to Toledo, Ohio, 
where she died aged . They had 

three children. The eldest daughter. 
Caroline, has been for several years 
teacher of drawing in the public 
schools of Toledo. She studied for 

several years in the art classes of 
New York city and as a pupil of Wil- 
liam Chase, another striking advance 
from the old homestead attic. 

There are now living 4 grana- 
children, 4 great grandchildren and 
1 great great grandchild of Deborah 

Lydia Potter Smith. 

No. 19. Eleventh daughter and 
last child of Abraham and Zerviah. 
Born Sept. 2, 1797. Died Jan. 1st, 
1872, aged 75 years. Married Joseph 
Savage Nov. 5, 1S21, and on Dec. 26, 
182 2, received removal certificate from 
New Bedford to Bridgewater, Oneida 
county, N. Y., where they first made 
their home. They soon removed to 
Syracuse, where Stephen Smith had 
just settled and where they were join- 
ed many jears later by Isaac Smith. 

Joseph Savage was interested in 
both the salt and ice business of Syra- 
cuse, and they lived there 49 years. 
After her deatli, he made his home on 
Staten Island, where he died. 

While Lydia Savage did not fulfil 
the English theory of the youngest of 
a family having exceptional ability, 
she was very "Smithy" according to 
the Yankee estimate. She had no 
children, but was always a helpful 
member of the community where she 
lived so long, and an active co-worker 
with Stephen Smith in his Anti-Slavery 
service. She did not retain the plain 
dress and speech of Friends, and was 
fond of pictures and music, and all 
good modern literature and poetry. 
When I last saw her in her home 
during the Civil war, she was taking 
lessons on the piano so as to be able 
to play the accompaniment to the Star 
Spangled Banner, which I was asked 
to do daily during my visit, she lead- 
ing the song, — a nineteenth century 
survival of the spirit which led her 
father to sacrifice his Quaker mem- 
bership in 1776. As she had no chil- 
dren, I have given her picture and the 
original certificate of her marriage- 
to this society for preservation. 



The thirteen children of Richard ana 
Rebecca Smith Williams were 
born in New Bedford, and 
as this is the largest family of 
its generation in descent from Abra- 
ham and Zerviah Smith, and none of 
them are now living, I give a full 
record of them here. 

No. 1. Joseph Ricketson Williams, 
oldest son and child of Re- 
becca Ricketson Williams, was 
born November 14th, 1808, and 
died June 15th. 1861. He was edu- 
cated at the Friends Academy in New 
Bedford and entered Harvard college 
in 182G, the first descendant of Abra- 
ham Smith to have a college educa- 
tion. Graduating in 1830, he and his 
oldest sister, Lucy Ricketson Williams, 
started on a journey west, visited 
Niagara Falls, and went by steamer 
and stages to visit their aunt Zerviah 
Sawdy in northwest Pennsylvania. A 
letter to her father tells of their go- 
ing on horseback to the Ohio state 
line and "galloping a mile into Ohio," 
never expecting to enter the state 
again. The accounts of this journey 
given by these two bright young peo- 
ple were long of great interest to the 
New Bedford families. One old In- 
dian woman, however, a servant in 
the family, refused to be impressed; 
she said, "Huh! Miss Lucy make a 
great fuss over Niagara Falls; I guess 
she never see Mashpee Mill dam!" 

Joseph Williams then entered the 
law office of "Honest" John Davis of 
Worcester, who with his wife, a sister 
of George Bancroft, the historian, be- 
came very much attached to him and 
appreciated his exceptional abilities. 
He then formed a law partnership 
with John H. Clifford of New Bedford, 
afterward Governor, but, his health 
failing, he went south in a sailing 
vessel, landing at St. Augustine. Flor- 
ida, where he passed the winter, and 
purchasing a saddle horse there, rode 
home leisurely to ]^ew Bedford, ar- 
riving June 1st, 1835. His bronchial 
trouble still made it impossible for 
him to live on the seacoast, and finally 
he reluctantly gave up his chosen 
profession, for which he was well 
fitted, and in 183 5 removed to Toledo, 
Ohio, where he started and named 
the Toledo Blade, still a leading Re- 
publican paper of the state, in part- 
nership with Pierre M. Irving, a neph- 
ew of Washington Irving. In 183 9 he 
removed to Constantine. Michigan, 
where, with his brother Richard Wil- 
liams, he built and carried on for 
several years a successful flour mill. 

Here he established a village on New 
England principles, and became the 
most prominent man in the county. 
He built and owned the Tavern and 
made it a "temperance centre" from 
the first, delivered instructive lectures 
in it and encouraged "assemlilys," 
with dancing and refreshments free 
for all; the only restrictions were "no 
liquor and no shirtsleeves," and he 
always attended these dances with his 
family and guests. He became much 
interested in the planting of the first 
orchards in the state, and taking 
grafts from the fine orchards of Erie 
and Genessee counties in New York 
State, he tra\eled far on horseback 
through southern Michigan, grafting 
trees and encouraging and instructing 
the eastern pioneers who at that time 
were rapidly settling the State. For 
many years he wrote and spoke ably 
in regard to agriculture and political 
interests, and twice received the nomi- 
nation of Republican senator for his 
district against Lewis Cass, afterwards 
go\ernor. In 1844 he married Sarah 
Langdon of Buffalo, a grandniece of 
•John Langdon, the Revolutionary gov- 
ernor of New Hampshire, and in' 1853 
returned to Toledo, Ohio, bought the 
Toledo Blade establishment and took 
editorial charge of it. Competent au- 
thority states: "Under his management 
the Blade became, from the first, the 
advocate of Republican-Free Soil prin- 
ciples. It was entirely independent 
and uncompromising and did more 
to inaugurate the Republican party in 
Ohio than all the other papers in the 
state. During his editorial career of 
three years, he had completely Repub- 
licanized the northwestern district of 

In 1856 he returned to Michigan, 
where he had retained his interests, 
to accept the presidency of the first 
agricultural college in the United 
States, at Lansing, Michigan. This 
college was the first to benefit by the 
United States grant of lands for edu- 
cational purposes, and this land bill, 
usually called the Morrill bill after the 
member who presented it to congress, 
was really in spirit and substance 
original with Joseph R. Williams. Had 
he been elected to Congress and pre- 
sented it himself to the government, 
it would have brought him deserved 
honor. A full account of his "work 
and words" in this connection was 
published in the proceedings of the 
Semi-Centennial celebration of the 
Michigan College of Agriculture and 
Mechanic Arts held in 1907. 


In 1858 he was chosen state senator 
for St. Joseph's county, and later Lieu- 
tenant Governor of Michigan and ex- 
officio Speaker of the State Senate. In 
the winter of 1860 his health was so 
affected by his faithful political ser- 
vice that he was obliged to make a 
trip to Madeira. Knowing well the 
critical condition of the country, he 
was impatient to return, and agamst 
all advice was again in New England 
in April, a few days before the attack 
on Sumter. When Lincoln issued his 
first call for state troops, Governor 
Blair of Michigan was ill and Mr. 
Williams was acting Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor and Speaker of the Senate. He 
went directly to Lansing, called an 
extra session of the legislature to raise 
the quota for Michigan, and, when 
assembled, opened it with a power- 
ful patriotic speech. The business fin- 
ished, he adjourned the session, re- 
turned to his home at Constantine, 
and within twenty-four hours died 
from a hemorrhage of the lungs, as 
truly a fighter as if he had fallen on 
the held of battle. The Rev. Robt. CoU- 
yer, of Chicago, held the service 
at his home in Michigan, and 
in a volume of his published 
sermons he speaks of this ser- 
vice and gives a fine tribute to the 
character and work of Mr. Williams. 
At his request, made long before his 
death, his body was brought to New 
Bedford and laid beside his parents; 
he said, "my exile will then be over." 
His birthplace never had a more loyal 
or brilliant son; one who knew him 
well said to me lately, "He was a 
leading man in northern Ohio, and 
capable of great service, and could he 
have lived, would have taken first 
rank in the state." He died in June, 
1861. aged only 51 years, leaving three 
daughters. There are now living two 
daughters, six grandsons and one 
great grandchild of Joseph Ricketson 

No 2. Eliza Smith Williams, born 
July 8, 1810. Died Dec. 28. 1815. 

No 3. Lucy Ricketson Williams, 
born Aug. 2, 1812. Died Feb. 4, 1894. 
Lucy R. Williams was born in a 
house still standing on Spring street, 
near Fourth. She was educated at 
Friends Academy with her brother 
Joseph and was much like him in 
temperament and intelligence, but 
with a stronger constitution, and out- 
lived him many years. Her father, 
being very fond of music, gave her 
one of the first pianos in New Bed- 
ford, where at that time there were 
but two others, one brought from 
France many years before by Rhoda, 
daughter of Captain Hayden (after- 
ward Mrs. Roland R. Crocker), and 
the other belonging to her school- 

mate. Howland, afterward 

Mrs. Edward Mott Robinson. Edward 
L. White of Boston was their teacher, 
coming from Boston once a week for 
their lessons. The Howland piano 
was put in the third story of the old 
Gideon Howland house on Second 
street, because that strict old Quaker 
utterly disapproved of it, and his 
daughter, getting little encouragement, 
made but small progress in using it, 
so Lucy Williams used to go often to 
the upper room and, with closed doors, 
play jigs and sing songs to a delighted 
group of schoolmates. In her own 
home her father accompanied her on 
the flute and young people gathered 
there to enjoy the music. So strong was 
the Quaker element at that time that 
she said, afterwards, "There were very 
few of my age who could turn a tune, 
and it was really the first home where 
the young people went to dance and 
sing." Before her marriage, she made 
many visits in Worcester, where her 
brother studied law with Governor 
Davis, and among relatives in New 
York and Syracuse. 

She married, June 1st, 1835, Samuel 
W. Hawes, youngest son of John 
Hawes of New Bedford, and I, their 
first child, was born in New Bedford 
in June. 1836. During that year they 
removed to Buffalo, New York, and 
were among the pioneer settlers of 
that city, then but a frontier town. 
There their son Richard Williams 
Hawes was born September, 183 7. 
From the first, she was leader in her 
home and in the social life. Her hus- 
band was prosperous, their home a 
hospitable one and its doors always 
open to the innumerable friends and 
relatives journeying to and from New 
England. Charles A. Dana, then a 
re.sident of Buffalo, said of her, "By 
her genius and her beauty, she became 
a leader of society in that city, noted 
for the culture and refinement of its 
early citizens." For thirty-four years 
they were identified with all the best 
interests and activities of Buffalo, 
broken only by a period of ten years, 
from 1850 to 1860, when for some 
time they lived near Boston, he being 
in business there with his brother, 
Wm. T. Hawes. In 1855 he bought 
the Potomska farm in Dartmouth, but 
sold it in 1857 on account of ill 
health, and they returned to Buffalo 
in 1859. At this time Mr. Hawes open- 
ed some of the first oil wells in Can- 
ada and Pennsylvania, and brought 
the first petroleum into Buffalo, where 
he manufactured refined oil for many 
years. During the Civil war Mrs. 

Hawes was an active worker in the 
Buffalo branch of the Sanitary Com- 
mission, and president of the Freed- 
men's Aid society. 


In 18 70 they removed with their 
-children and two g-randchildren to Ho- 
Ho-Kus, N. J., near New York. In 
that city he continued in business un- 
til his death in 1882. Lucy Williams 
Hawes became at this time a frequent 
contributor to the New York Sun, fur- 
nishing material for a column of "Sun- 
beams" for several years. She later 
wrote interesting historical pamphlets 
on Buffalo and Lewiston, Niaraga coun- 
ty, which were published b.y the Buffalo 
Historical society; also several articles 
in "Kate Fields Washington," of 
which Miss Field said, "These spark- 
ling sketches, written at the age of 80 
years, command a terse and vigorous 
style which younger writers might im- 
itate with profit." 

All her life she was an untiring 
correspondent, whose letters were wel- 
comed by several generations and in 
many lands. She survived her hus- 
band twelve years and died at Ho-Ho- 
Kus, N. J., in 1S94, in her 82nd year, 
with all her faculties strong and keen 
to the end. 

No. 4. Rebecca Smith Williams, 
Jr., born June 25th, 1814. Died Oct. 
8th, 1893, aged 79 years. Oct. 8. 1835, 
she married Lawrence Grinnell. son 
of Cornelius Grinnell of New Bedford. 
Mrs. Grinnell passed all her long life 
in New Bedford, where her beautiful 
and hospitable home will long be re- 
membered. To her great beauty was 
added a practical executive ability 
that made her always among the help- 
ful women of the city. At the begin- 
ning of the Civil war she was chosen 
first president of the New Bedford 
iDranch of the Sanitary Commission. 
The day after the departure of the 
first New Bedford company for Wash- 
ington she assembled her family and 
neighbors in her home and cut out 
the first shirts that were sent to them. 
T was one of tiie workers there when 
Mr. Grinnell came in with the tele- 
gram that the troops had been fired 
upon in Baltimore. This branch did 
great work for the hospitals and 
nurses all tlirough the war. Mrs. Jo- 
seph Delano later had charge of that 
work, but Mrs. Grinnell continued ac- 
tive in many ways as long as needed. 
In 188 5 Mr. and Mrs. Grinnell cele- 
brated their golden wedding, and eight 
years later, on their 5Sth wedding 
day, she passed away. Mr. Grinnell 
had become blind and physically help- 
less, and survived her only two 
months, dying Dec. 14, 1893. They 
had four children. Laiira died in in- 
fancy. Frederick died Oct. 21st, 1905, 
aged fi9. Mary Russell, died Oct. 11, 
1872, aged 27. Richard Williams, 

married Norah Gardner of Providence, 
R. T., June 1874. died leav- 

ing one son and two daughters. 

No. 5. Richard Williams, Jr., born 
Nov. 24, 1815. For many years was 
in business at Constantine with his 
brother, Joseph R. Williams, removing 
in 1858 to Buffalo, where he was in- 
terested in flouring mills. He married 
Anna, daughter of Eben Osborn of 
Sandusky, who survives him. At one 
time he spent several years in Lon- 
don. England, in charge of American 
milling machinery interests. He died 
at Buffalo in 188. They had no 


No. 6. Zerviah Smith Williams, 
died of consumption July 25, 1833, 
aged 15 years. 

No. 7. Lemuel Tallman Williams, 
died May 22, 1822, aged 21/2 years. 

No. 8. Eliza Smith Williams, born 
May 1st, 1821. Married Josias S. 

Coggeshall, 1846. 

They moved to Constantine, Mich., 
where they lived with her brother, 
Joseph R. Williams, for some years. 
Mr. Coggeshall went to California in 
1850, his wife following him two years 
after. Their children were: Laura 
Grinnell Coggeshall, born in New Bed- 
ford, died in Toledo, Ohio; Frank 
Coggeshall, born in New Bedford, died 
in New Bedford; Annie Williams 
Coggeshall, born in San Francisco. 
Mr. and Mrs. Coggeshall re- 
mained in California until his 
death, in February, 1890. Soon 
after, she returned with her two 
daughters to New Bedford to the 
homestead on Cottage street which 
she had inherited from her mother 
and unmarried sisters. The climate 
not agreeing with her, after her life 
on the Pacific coast, she removed to 
Toledo. Ohio, in 1891, where she died 
Jan. 13, 1892, followed by both of 
her daughters, who were unmarried. 
No. 9. Maria Williams, born Feb. 
10. 1824, died Aug. 15, 1890, aged 66. 
Maria Williams, the oldest unmar- 
ried daughter, passed her whole life 
in New Bedford. After her father's 
death in 1S45, when she was 21 years 
old. she took her place as the head 
of the household, and devoted herself 
to the care of her widowed mother 
and invalid sister, and later to two 
blind and childless aunts. Of the six 
"Williams sisters," considered in their 
generation the handsomest family 
group in New Bedford, she was one 
of marked personality. In spite of 
many attempts to induce her to pre- 
side over other homes, she preferred 
what was, in her, a life of single 
"blessedness." She was always active 
in helpful ways, was one of those who 
started and managed for several years 
the "ragged schools" or sewing class- 
es which were held in the public 
schools on Saturday afternoons, and 
was an untiring worker in all the 


patriotic and hospital work of the 
Sanitary Commission during the Civil 
war. Her loving care endeared her to 
her nieces and nephews, and many 
called for her to be with them in 
their last hours. A mother- 

less daughter of her youngest broth- 
er, put in her charge when three years 
old, was a loving daughter to her for 
many years, and her early death, soon 
after her father's, broke the last link 
which held the faithful "maiden 
aunt" to life. She closed her home 
and spent some time with Mr. and 
Mrs. Grinnell, who needed her care, 
but she died before them, after a 
short illness. 

No. 10. Sybil Tisdale Williams, 
born April 18, 1825, died Oct. 

Sybil Williams, like her sisters, was 
educated in Friends Academy, mar- 
ried Thomas Bennett, Jr.. of Fairha- 
ven, and lived all her life in New 
Bedford, where, like her older sisters, 
she was prominent and helpful in all 
social and philanthropic work. She 
had a buoyant, cheery temperament 
which gave an added charm to her 
beauty, and a friendly, kind manner 
which remains a pleasant memory to 
all who knew her. In 1872 Mr. and 
Mrs. Bennett moved to the mansion 
of John Avery Parker on County 
street, where they resided the rest of 
their lives. For nearly thirty years, 
Mr. Bennett was superintendent and 
agent of Wamsutta Mills. They had 
two children, Williams and Clara Ben- 
nett. The early death of their son 
w'as a shock from which neither of 
them ever recovered. Mrs. Bennett 
died two years later, Oct. 20th, 1877, 
her husband surviving her until 
March, 1898. Their only daughter is 
still living in the family homestead 
of her grandfather. Captain Thomas 
Bennett, in Fairhaven. 

No. 11. Lemuel Williams, born 
Dec. 26, 1826, died July 9, 1828. 

No. 12. George Williams, born Nov. 
28, 1828, died Dec. 1887. 

George Williams, the fifth and 
youngest son, was but 18 years old at 
the time of his father's death, and 
was the first son to follow the "call 
of the sea" which had appealed so 
often to his ancestors. He made two 
voyages "before the mast" before en- 
tering the service of Grinnell & Min- 
turn, of New York, where he remain- 
ed until 1860 as first officer, and later 
as Captain. He served on many ol 
the famous California "clippers." and 
was one of the officers who took the 
"Flying Cloud" on her record-break- 
ing trip around Cape Horn. For 
many j'ears he made annual trips to 
China. At one time, on the death 
of the Captain at CantOT;i, he brought 
home the ship and a cargo worth over 
a million dollars, through one of the 

stormiest voyages ever known. For 
some weeks the gales drove them back 
from the Atlantic coast, and three 
times they drifted back into the Gulf 
Stream, to thaw out the sails and 
rigging. They were six weeks over- 
due, and with food and clothing giv- 
ing out. The carpet was taken from 
the cabin to make .jackets for the 
crew, and finally the ship was safely 
anchored in New York harbor. 

On the breaking out of the Civil 
war, which put an end for a time to 
the trade with China, he entered the 
United States Volunteer Navy, and was 
afterward transferred to the United 
States revenue cutter service, where 
he remained until his death. He was 
stationed for three years in New Bed- 
ford harbor, and also served six years 
on the Pacific coast, including two 
trips to Alaska. He was intensely pa- 
triotic, and said, "I have carried the 
American flag around the world many 
times, and into some port of nearly 
every country on the globe, and I 
have never seen anything handsomer, 
nor that I loved any better." 

He married, March 5. 1861, Marion 
Boughton Lloyd, of Niagara county, 
N. Y., who died March 29, 1866. They 
had one daughter, Marion, who mar- 
ried Eliot D. Stetson of New Bedford, 
March, 1887. 

George AVilliams died suddenly in 
New Bedford while spending a vaca- 
tion there, and his daughter, died 
childless March 12, 1888, the last of 
her line. 

No. 13. Abby Smith Williams, 
born Oct. 4, 1830, died Dec. 31, 1883. 

The youngest of the thirteen chil- 
dren, was in some respects the most 
remarkable of them all. A fall when 
she was four years old injured her 
spine and made her an invalid for 
life. Inheriting the strong physical 
and mental traits of her parents, and 
a cheerful, philosophical temperament, 
her life of over fifty years was an ac- 
tive, useful one, in spite of its limita- 
tions. She was taught in her own 
home, in a great measure self-taught, 
and was an intelligent, enthusiastic 
reader. She had a fine sense of humor 
and was a keen judge of all phases of 
life. Two years spent at the home 
of her brother in Michigan interested 
her much, and she made frequent vis- 
its to other relatives, but her last years 
were spent in the New Bedford home- 
stead, with her mother, sister and 
niece. Her oldest brother said of her, 
"She was the peer of the best of us, 
and had the best brain." — an illus- 
tration of the deduction of an English 
writer, quoted in the introduction to 
this paper, that the oldest and young- 
est of a large family have a greater 
likelihood of developing genius than 
any of the others. 



It was my original intention to limit 
records to the grandchildren of Abra- 
ham and Zerviah Smith, but I decided 
later to include all members of lines 
now extinct, that those records may 
be closed to date. I now add four 
names of descendants of three succes- 
sive generations, which I feel should 
be recorded here, as none of them are 
now living. They are marked illustra- 
tions of the survival of different 
phases and types of their New Eng- 
land ancestry. 

(1) Frederick Grinnell was born in 
New Bedford, March 14, 1836, a son of 
the late Lawrence Grinnell, former col- 
lector of customs of the port of New 
Bedford, and Rebecca (S. Williams) 
Grinnell. On his father's side he de- 
scended from an old French Huguenot 
family which emigrated to America in 
1632 and settled first at Newport, and 
afterwards, toward the middle of the 
eighteenth century, at New Bedford. 
He attended the Friends Academy. In 
18 52 he entered the Rensselaer Poly- 
technic Institute at Troy, N. Y., the 
youngest of his class, and the young- 
est who had ever entered at that time. 
At this institute he went through the 
three years' engineering course, grad- 
uating in 18 55 with high honors, his 
name being at the head of the list of 
over 60 students of his own year. 
The subject of his graduating theses 
had been for some years at the head 
of the list of difficult problems, and 
Mr. Grinnell was the first one to solve 
it correctl>'. Having finished his edu- 
cational career, Mr. Grinnell began his 
active life in 18 56 at the Jersey City 
Locomotive works, whence he passed, 
in 1860, to the Corliss Steam Engine 
company of Providence, where his 
high ability in a short time secured 
him the position of treasurer and su- 
perintendent of the works. In 186.0, 
however, he was induced to return to 
the Jersey City Locomotive works as 
general manager, and the fact that 
this concern was then leased by the 
Atlantic & Great Western railroad led 
to his forming the acquaintance of 
Sir Morton Peto and Mr. Forbes, on 
whose express invitation he went to 
England for the purpose of inspecting 
the chief locomotive engineering and 
mechanical works in the United 
Kingdom. Some time afterwards, 

when the Atlantic & Great Western 
Railway company was leased by the 
Erie company, Mr. Grinnell was offer- 
ed the position of mechanical superin- 
tendent of the entire combined sys- 

Mr. Grinnell, however, notwith- 
standing his successful career as a 

railway engineer, decided to use his 
energies and inventive powers for his 
own benefit, and to that end he pur- 
chased, in 1869, an interest in the 
Providence Steam & Gas Pipe com- 
pany, a concern which had been 
founded in 1850. As engineer and 
manager of this company, he soon de- 
veloped a large and successful busi- 
ness in the equipment of manufacto- 
ries with all apparatus pertaining to 
the use of steam, water and gas, and, 
in addition, undertook large contracts 
for the building of towns' gas works, 
and the laying of water mains. 

It was his connection with this com- 
pany that led Mr. Grinnell to develop 
a system of fire protection by means 
of perforated pipes attached to the 
ceilings of factory rooms, into any of 
which water could be turned by the 
opening of externally fixed valves. 
This device met with a good deal of 
favor at the time; but as its success- 
ful operation depended entirely on hu- 
man agency, Mr. Grinnell was, by a 
natural process, led to the study of a 
system which would be independent 
of such agency, and absolutely auto- 
matic in its working. Numerous auto- 
matic devices aiming at the extinction 
of fire by the agency of its own heat 
had been previously patented, but ev- 
ery one of them had failed in practice, 
either through their habit of bursting 
when not wanted, or failing to open 
at the critical time. Mr. Grinnell, in 
1881, patented his famous sensitive 
valve sprinkler, self-closing under 
water pressure. In 1881 Mr. Grinnell 
further improved the apparatus by the 
invention of the dry pipe system and 
other appliances for the equipment of 
properties where the water in the 
pipes would freeze. 

With Mr. Grinnell's wonderful me- 
chanical genius were combined two 
other qualiites — a lawyer's apprecia- 
tion of the application of principles 
to facts and a keen power of explana- 
tion of mechanical subjects, all of 
which stood him in good stead in the 
demonstration of the value of his in- 
vention, and in the tremendous liti- 
gation which occurred in regard to it. 
He was really his own patent solicitor 
and expert, and his ability in both 
capacities was responsible for his suc- 
cessful career. 

In 1892 the leading concerns manu- 
facturing automatic appliances in dif- 
ferent sections of the United States 
were amalgamated by Mr. Grinnell 
into one large corporation, under the 
title of the General Fire Extinguisher 
company. This company, of which he 
was the first president, has branch 


offices in all leading cities of America, 
and extensive works at Providence, 
Philadelphia and Warren, Ohio. The 
rights of the sprinkler and other pa- 
tents for Europe were acquired by 
William Mather of England. Mr. Grin- 
nell remained at the head of the 
American company up to the time of 
his death. 

During his residence in Providence, 
Mr. Grinnell was married to Alice 
Almv, daughter of the late William 
Almy of New Bedford, in 1864. Of 
this marriage two children were born, 
a '.son who ~ died at the age of four 
years, and a daughter, now the wife 
of Robert W\ Taft of Providence, a 
director in the N. Y., N. H. & H. 
railroad. Mrs. Grinnell died within a 
few years of her marriage. 

In 1874 Mr. Grinnell was married 
to Miss Mary B. Page, a daughter of 
John H. W. Page. Mr. Page was prin- 
cipal of the Friends Academy from 
1826 to 18:^9, afterwards studying law 
and being admitted to the bar in 
1832. To Mr. and Mrs. Grinnell have 
been born four children, Russell Grin- 
nell, whose wife, Rose Gifford, is a 
daughter of the late R. Swain Gif- 
ford. the artist; Lydia, now Mrs. John 
W. Knowles; Lawrence, who married 
Emily Rotch 'Severance, a grand- 
daughter of Wm. J. Rotch of New 
Bedford, and has one son, Francis B., 
who - married Elizabeth Merrihew 
Plummer, daughter of Leander A. 
Plummer, and had one son. 

-In 1894 Mr. and Mrs. Grinnell 
moved to this city, Mr. Grinnell hav- 
ing purchased the estate of his great- 
uncle, Joseph Grinnell, on County 
street, for a residence. 

Throughout his life, Mr. Grinnell 
was an enthusiastic yachtsman, and 
took a prominent part in the sport of 
yachting. He was No. 5 among the 
original charter members of the New 
York Yacht club, and had served as a 
member of its regatta committee. He 
had also been a member of the New 
Bedford Yacht club for many years. 
Mr. Grinnell's first boat was the Lydia, 
a small schooner. In 1889 he had 
built the steel schooner Quickstep. 
She was designed by Burgess, and was 
intended for a family crusing yacht, 
but developed great speed. She was 
not only invariably victorious in her 
own class, but on three occasions won 
special races against the finest schoon- 
ers of the class above her. The Quick- 
step measures 65 feet on the water 
line, is constructed of steel, and was 
built in 1889 from the plans of the 
well known designer. Burgess. On 
account of the reputation which he 
gained in handling the Quickstep, Mr. 
Grinnell's sailing master, Captain 
William Hansen, was selected to sail 

the Vigilant in the international races- 
of 1S93 for the America cup; but he 
returned to Mr. Grinnell the following 
season and remained with him up to 
the time of Captain Hansen's death. 

A few years later, tiring of the sport 
of sailing, and desiring a craft by 
which he could more quickly return 
to port at his pleasure, Mr. Grinnell 
in 1902 built the second Quickstep, a 
.steamer, disposing of the schooner to 
New York people. The steamer was 
sold in 1905. 

Small boat racing was another 
phase of yachting in which Mr. Grin- 
nell was interested, and his son's Her- 
reshoff cruisers have been an active 
factor in the races of the New Bed- 
ford club. 

Mr. Grinnell was interested in a 
large number of local corporations. 
He was a director in the Mechanics 
bank, to which office he was elected a 
year after taking up his residence in 
this city; was a member of the boar(t 
of investment of the New Bedford In- 
stitution for Savings; a director in the 
Wamsutta Mills corporation. As one 
of the management of the Morse 
Twist Drill company, Mr. Grinnell had 
much to do with the extension of that 
firm's business; and he was also one 
of the heads of the Gorham Mfg. Co. 
He died Oct. 5, 1905. aged 69. 

No. 2. Russell D. Walbridge, 
great grandson of Abraham Smith 
and grandson of Elizabeth 

Smith and Wing Russell, was 
born in Buffalo, N. Y., in 1849, 
and died at Honolulu, 1901, aged 52 
years. Educated at private schools in 
Buffalo, he entered the Polytechnic 
school in Troy in 1862. This was just 
ten years after his cousin, Frederick 
Grinnell, had entered there; Russell 
Walbridge entered at the same age, 
both the youngest in their class. Af- 
ter one year's study he went to Boise 
City, Idaho, where his father was in 
charge of a large silver mine, and 
spent a year in practical work as a 
mining engineer. He then returned to 
Troy and finished his course, gradu- 
ating with honor. After more work 
with his father in California until 
1883. he became chief engineer of 
mines at Tucson until 1885, when he 
went to Honolulu, and for several 
years was superintendent of a large 
sugar plantation on the island of 
Maui. It became the most successful 
one in the Hawaiian islands. 

He married Bernice Parke of Hono- 
lulu, and in 1899 returned to the 
east, preferring to work, he said, "in 
his own country." He finally decided 
to return to Honolulu in 1900, and 
died suddenly in 1901, just as he was 
about to take charge of a plantation, 


No. 3. Williams Bennett, only son 
-of Thomas and Sybil Williams Ben- 
nett, was born in New Bedford in 
1859 and died Dec. 25, 1875, aged 
sixteen years. 

Williams Bennett was educated in 
private schools of New Bedford and 
early showed his inheritance of great 
mechanical ability. When a mere 

child he spent much time in the 
workshop of the Wamsutta Mills, of 
which his father was the builder and 
superintendent. At twelve years he 
built and ran a small steam engine 
with which to work a small printing 
press, and published a very creditable 
small newspaper. In September, 1875, 
he entered the Polytechnic school at 
Troy, the youngest in his class, the 
same record in age and standing as 
that of Frederick Grinnell in 1852 
and Kusseil Walbridge in 1862. The 
hope that he would repeat their hon- 
orable finish of the course was dis- 
appointed by his death, of typhoid 
fever, Dec. 2 5th, three months after 
his entrance. 

No. 4. Franklin Smith Macomber, 
son of Alfred E. and Sarah Smith 
Macomber, born March 2, 1877, died 
Dec. 10, 1908. 

Alfred E. Macomber is of Scotch 
descent, and was born in Bristol coun- 
ty, Mass.; his ancestors were "propri- 
etors" in the Pilgrim Plymouth colony 
as early as 164 0. 

Sarah Smith Macomber is daugh- 
ter of John T. S. Smith, the homeo- 
pathic physician of New York, and a 
great granddaughter of Abraham 

Franklin Smith Macomber was the 
most marked representative of his 
family branch in his day and genera- 
tion. He was born in Toledo, Ohio, 
educated in the public schools, then 
entered Cornell university and took 
the law course, returning to Toledo in 
1S9 8 when 21 years old, and entering 
the real estate firm of his father. 
From his parents he inherited a 
strong, wise, humanitarian tendency 
which, through this business, soon de- 
veloped in many practical ways. It 
was said of him: 

"The scope of his vision and the 
philosophy and depth of his thought 
were unknown, except to those who 
knew the smiling young man best. 
He had a thorough knowledge and 
aptitude for architecture and civic en- 
gineering. He spent much time going- 
over certain portions of the city, until 
lie learned its possibilities, then placed 
his mental designs on paper for his 
own gratification. He took few into 
his confidence, preferring to wait un- 
til the time was ripe, to call the at- 
tention of the public with a backing 
of facts and figures. That his judg- 

ment in public improvement was wise 
was shown in the development of the 
district where he planted apartment 
houses and playgrounds; his motive 
was entirely unselfish and he sought 
no holdings in other districts that he 
was planning to regenerate." 

In 1903 he married Miss Annie Rey- 
nolds of Toledo, and they had one 
son. He was associated with everj^ 
movement for the welfare of Toledo, 
and was the life and energy of the 
boards with which he became con- 
nected. In January, 1906, he was ap- 
pointed a member of the Board of 
public safety, and the next year was 
elected its vice president. In all mat- 
ters presented to the City Council he 
was invariably the spokesman for the 
safety Board, and matters pertaining 
to the elevation and efficiency of the 
police and fire departments occupied 
the major part of his time. He was 
in daily consultation with experts, 
gathering data and statistics to show 
the probable cost and benefits of im- 
provements. He lent much assistance 
to the work of the Toledo newsboys, 
and with his brother, Irving E. Mac- 
omber, gave the use of a large tract 
of land to the Newsboys' association 
for a playground, and a.similiar tract 
was appropriated for tlie use of the 
school board as a school garden. In 
the midst of all this strong, helpful 
work, he developed a trouble of the 
nose, which, after consultation with 
the best specialists, seemed to neces- 
sitate a slight operation. He went 
promptly and hopefully to a hospital, 
his heart action was tested, an anaes- 
thetic administered, and in five min- 
utes he was dead, and a whole city 
mourned his loss! The mayor issued 
an official proclamation and all pub- 
lic and pri^•ate flags were lowered to 
half mast. The leading paper said: 
"Since the death of President Mc 
Kinley, nothing has so shocked and 
shaken Toledo as the untimely passing 
of Franklin S. Macomber, city-saver." 
On the Sunday after his death a pub- 
lic memorial service was held by the 
City Council. In a tender loving ad- 
dress, the Mayor spoke of his short 
but complete life, saying. "The record 
is far too short; it was not time for 
him to die." Among many other 

tributes. I add only this from the 
president of the T.abor Union: 

"He was my friend; he was one of 
the very few men in his walk of life 
who appreciated the efforts of the 
workers. It would not be fitting for 
me to recount all he has done for 
labor, but he always prided himself 
on being at the service of those who 
toil. He was a many-sided man, who 
paid less attention to the individual 
than to the wants of the community. 


You can appeal to your rulers and 
plead with them to be kind and just, 
and implore your legislatures to treat 
you kindly, but these forces must bend 
their knees to men like Franklin Mac- 

Surely he was "well born," and he 
died when only thirty-one years old, 
"good and wise, honorable and hon- 

The descendants of Abraham and 
Zerviah Smith, now liying, whom I 
have been able to trace and record, 
are: 1 grandchild, 22 great grand- 
children, 24 great great grandchildren, 
21 great great great grandchildren. 
. From some of my "forebears," I 
have inherited a saying which has 
been used for more than one genera- 
tion. When condemning the charac- 
ter of any one, it was said "He is poor 
timber, that will neither take polish 

nor hold nails!" 1 think we can say 
of the sturdy New England family 
tree, of which I have made this record 
of more than three hundred years of 
growth, that it has always been "good 
timber." In its first century it held 
fast the "nails" of adversity, exile, 
torture, imprisonment and daily pri- 
vation; in the second and third cen- 
turies its vigorous branches reached 
out to absorb the best elements of ev- 
ery possible gain in power and skill 
of both body and mind; and as I 
have lately traced the growth of its 
fourth century, I am proud to find 
many of good, firm grain, ready to 
take on the polish of the 20th century 
development and opportunity. I be- 
qvieath the recording of this to the 
family historian of 2010, for preser- 
vation by the "Old Dartmouth Histor- 
ical Society." 



No. 31 

Being the proceedings of the Thirty-first Meeting of the Old 
Dartmouth Historical Society, held in their building, Water 
Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts, on December 29, 1910. 

DESCENDANTS By Caroline W. Hathaway 

[Note. — The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches " will be published by the 
Society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 

V 1^'^ ,o,' ^ 





Old Dartmouth Historical Society 



DECEMBER 29, 1910 

President Edmund Wood addressed 
the members concerning a recent pub- 
lication by Anna and Walton Ricliet- 
son Daniel Ricketson will always be 

"A book has been published this 
month in New Bedford which should 
receive honorable mention at the 
meeting of this society, 'Daniel Rlc- 
ketson — Autobiographic and Miscel- 
laneous.' This historical work has 
been compiled and edited by two of 
our members, Anna and Waltoii 
Ricketson, authors of "Daniel Ricket- 
son and His Friends,' and 'New Bed- 
ford of the Past.' The book is note- 
worthy because it supplies in perma- 
nent form additional material from 
the pen of Old Dartmouth's chief his- 

"Daniel Ricketson will always be 
a name cherished by this historical 
society, because he was perhaps the 
very first to realize that his own time 
was full of unrecorded treasures of 

biographical liuowledge, historical 
facts, and family traditions, which 
were in great danger of being losi 
to the future. 

He does not seem to have had in 
mind the writing of a complete his- 
tory of this township, but rather, ao 
he himself states, the assembling, or 
this vast treasure of fugitive local 
fact and tradition, — the recording of 
material of inestimable value for the 
use of future historians and anti- 

As a matter of fact he did group 
them into a satisfactory form, and 
published a work which was for a 
generation our only history. 

The greatest services that the es- 
tablishment of this society performed 
in this community was to arouse our 
inhabitants to a realization of the 
value of the relics of the past which 
still surrounded us, and the records 
which, unappreciated and unexaminefl 

in many households, were in danger 
of oblivion. It formed a nucleus for 
collection, and a devoted working 
force for study and research. 

But incidentally this society per- 
formed a noteworthy service in its 
earliest existence. It brought Danlei 
Ricketson into his own. It awakenea 
many to see for the first time the reai 
value of the material he had gath- 
ered and recorded, and to confess In 
public manner the debt that this gen- 
eration owed to his sagacious fore- 
sight and loving labor 

It had been the fashion for many 
years to magnify the occasional ei- 
rors in statement and to dwell upon 
the desultory and un.^kilful form In 
which he had left his researches. But 
with the formation of this society 
came a fuller realization of what he 
had really accomplished. It is im- 
possible now to read the earliest pro- 
ceedings of this society as well as the 
earlier exercises connected with the 
Bartholomew Gosnold memorial at 
Cuttyhunk, without acknowledging 
that our historian, Daniel Ricketson, 
is of blessed memory, and one whom 
this society will always delight to 

The Avork which has just been 
published by his daughter and sou, 
Anna and Walton Ricketson, contains 
some historical material but has Its 
chief value in the glimpses which It 
reveals to us of the man himself, of 
his ambition, of his devotedness, of 
his lofty ideals, and of his full real- 
ization of his own limitations and 
shortcomings. He associated inti- 
mately with some of the largest 
minds in the land. He correspondeo 
and exchanged literary efforts witn 
some of our greatest thinkers ana 
most successful writers. His conver- 
sation, his fund of close observations 
of nature, and his intellectual hospi- 
tality attracted them and made his 
home quite a centre for high think- 
ing and philosophical speculation. His 
own literary work was placed in an 
almost unfair competition, for here 
it was put exactly alongside of that ol 
Emerson and Thoreau and Alcott and 
Curtis and Whittier. 

The perusal of the delightful let- 
ters in this volume emphasizes again 
the extraordinary change which is now 
often commented on in the popular 
education of adults. Now it is large- 
ly accomplished through the eye — the 
reading of the daily newspapers — and 
the play, and in the few and much 
adulterated kernels of information 
which may occasionally be found in 
the modern vaudeville. 

A generatioii and a half ago this 
hall would have been crowded to hear 
the essayist of the evening. It was 
the era of the Lyceum Bureau. Our 
largest halls were filled, without the 

attractions of orchestras and stereopti- 
con slides, to hear the leaders of 
thought and action in that day, dis- 
course on philosophy and on the prob- 
lems involved in current events. 

It seenis to us now, as we look 
back, that 'there were giants in those 
days.' Then was the climax of popu- 
lar oratory when vast audiences sat 
thrilled by the skill of the speaker, 
and were swayed as a mass by a mag- 
netic address. 

Xew Bedford heard the best that 
appeared on the lecture platform, and 
Daniel Ricketson entertained some of 
the best. 

Then were the days of one-night 
stands, as the theatre managers would 
now call it. A popular speaker would 
swing around the circle, with a night 
in New Bedford and then a night in 
Boston, with perhaps a night or two 

Emerscin and Thoreau and George 
William Curtis were favorites here, 
and year after year they, and many 
others, sojourned before or after the 
lecture with Daniel Ricketson at his 
delightful home at Brooklawn on 
Acushnet avenue. Here during the 
late evening, around the blazing fire 
in the rustic study called 'The Shanty." 
sat our hospitable fellow citizen and 
his distinguished guest, and discoursed 
of nature and poetry and art, and 
brought in with that old-time appro- 
priateness those resounding quotations 
from the poets, both Latin and Eng- 

The book reveals a beautiful pic- 
ture of an unusual life." 

President Wood stated that a very 
praiseworthy and popular suggestion 
of our secretary has developed into 
quite a success It was that brass 

tablets be placed in the panels of our 
doorways, to commemorate the names 
of the earliest settlers and that these 
panels be provided by some one of 
their descendants who is a member of 
the society. 

President Wood read the inscrip- 
tions upon the new tablets, as fol- 


DIED — 1711. 
From a Descendant — Thomas S. Hath- 


First Deputy 

from Dartmouth. 


l-'rom a Descendant — Harry B. Russell. 


First Pastor 

of the 

First Baptist Church 

in Old Dartmouth. 

From a Descendant — Frank A, Mosher. 

President Wood said that it had 
also been suggested that the society 
should in the same manner record 
the names of citizens distinguished in 
the less remote history of the city, 
and that tablets to their memory 
might be placed in the panels of the 
archway in the meeting room. He 
added that one such tablet had al- 
ready been placed. The tablet is in- 
scribed as follows: 

In Memory of 


"The Beloved Physician." 

Born in Tiverton, Rhode Island, 

NOV. 25, 1784. 

Died in New Bedford. Mass., 

DEC. 28, 1857. 

From His Grand-daughter 

Bertha Whitridge Smith. 


Arthur Hathaway and His Immediate 



In searching for reliable informa- 
tion of the first settlers of Dartmouth, 
nearly three hundred years ago. many 
items of interest and value are 
brought to light, giving an insight into 
their aims and accomplishments. As 
time is counted, it is only a few years 
since the forefathers laid the founda- 
tion for the physical and social life 
of this territory. Among the number 
was Arthur Hathaway. 

The name of Hathaway is local in 
Wales, and is derived from Port 
Heathway. It must be local as well 
in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, for 
in the latter at one time there were 
eighteen Hathaways to every ten 
thousand inhabitants. The counties 
of Wales that border on the River 
Severn, are as much English as those 
on the opposite side, in the United 
Kingdom. Although it has not been 
possible to trace the subject of this 
article back to either of the above lo- 
calities, it is fair to suppose that he 
or his might have emigrated from 
thereabouts. In Hallens London City 
Church Registers, it is recorded that 
"Richard Hathaway of St. Lawrence, 
Old Jewry, gent, and Anne (Amy) 
Moddox, spinster of the City of Lon- 
don were married at St. Bartholomew 
Exchange Nov. 20, 1582 B., and an- 
other reads, London, St. Botolph, 
Bishopsgate, 16.52. Thomas Hathaway 
is married to Eliabeth Harper." Ar- 
thur Hathaway named his first son 
John, and his second son Thomas, and 
his son John named one of his sons 
Richard, he, Arthur might or might 
not have come from London. The rec- 
ords reveal a variety of spelling, 
the most common forms are Hatha- 
way, Hatheway, Hathway, Hada- 
way, Hauthaway; they probably 
belong to the same original 
family, and they should be spelled 
one way. The Hathaways of Dart- 
mouth trace their ancestry back to 
Arthur, who married Sarah, daughter 
of John Cooke. The tradition is, that 

the Hathaways in personal appear- 
ance were tall, loosely built, walked 
with a swinging motion and were of 
florid complexion, fair hair and blue 
eyes. This type appears in almost 
e\ery generation. 

There is no detailed documentary 
information before 1652, thereby 
much confusion exists. The year of 
16 51, one Arthur Hathaway was re- 
ported as owning in lot 26 in Punck- 
a-teest. now Tiverton. In 1643 a resi- 
dent of Marshfleld of the same name 
was capable of bearing arms, and was 
at town meeting at Plymouth in 1646 
The Colonial Records state that Ar- 
thur Hathaway had a share in lands 
ii. that part of Plymouth called 
Kingston. The records do not settle 
the question of whether these individ- 
uals were one person. Elisha C. Leon- 
ard thought they were, while some in- 
vestigators assert that there were two 
Arthurs, father and son. Then one 
John Hathaway, Jr.. kept an ordinary 
at Freetown, presumably at Assonet. 
John Hathaway at Barnstable, was 
fined in 1663 for breach of peace, and 
in 1668 for drunkenness. It was 

thought at one time that all of these 
events related to the same John, but 
this is now doubted; whether either 
John was a relative of Arthur is a 
question. John D. Baldwin, a schol- 
arly gentleman residing in Worcester, 
and the only writer who makes the 
statement, wrote to the Historical and 
Genealogical Register: "I have found 
by investigation that John and Arthur 
Hathaway, (brothers probably) came 
to America in 163 8 from one of the 
Welsh counties of Great Britain. John 
was in Barnstable, but afterward set- 
tled in that part of Taunton now 
Berkley, where he owned land in 
1638. Arthur settled in Plymouth and 
his son married Sarah Cooke." Very 
little weight can be given to this state- 
ment as no authority is given. Gen. 
E. W. Peirce wrote to the same regis- 
ter that he had discovered a record 
which proved that the Taunton John 

Hathaway was not the same individ- 
ual who was in Barnstable. Owing to 
the absence of documentary informa- 
tion, it will not now be possible to 
state when and where Arthur Hath- 
away was born; who were his parents 
and relatives; and when he came to 
Plymouth colony. This narrative must 
commence with his marriage to the 
daughter of John Cooke, November 
20, 1652, the same year that the col- 
ony granted the territory on Buzzards 
bay to the thirty-six purchasers of 
whom Cooke was one. In the first 
census of New Bedford town in 1790, 
there were thirty-eight male Hatha- 
ways. During tlie past century there 
may have been a few Hathaway fam- 
ilies that became residents of New 
Bedford who belonged to the Taunton 
or Barnstable branches. But so far 
as known, all who resided within the 
limits of Old Dartmouth before 1800, 
were descendants of Arthur Hatha- 
way. By marriage he was connected 
with important faiuilies of Plymouth 
colony. John Cooke at the age of ten 
years came in the Mayflower with his 
father Francis, and he married Sarah 
Warren, daughter of Richard, who al- 
so came in the Mayflower, and were 
always prominent at Plymouth. John 
Cooke held Anabaptist views, and was 
not in accord with the Pilgrim church, 
and it is suggested that they were 
entirely willing he should remove his 
home to Buzzards bay. How soon af- 
ter the grant of Cushena, any of the 
purchasers lemoved to Buzzards bay 
has not been determined, but not 
more than seven made their home in 

The name was applied to this region 
in a tax Iev>- as early as 1632, al- 
though the town of Dartmouth was 
not constituted until 1664. But as 
early as 1660 Arthur Hathaway and 
"Segeant" Shaw were residing here, 
because an order was given to Cap- 
tain Willet to collect their taxes. In 
1656 Hathaway was a member of the 
grand jury, but probably not from 
an unincorporated place like Cushena. 
He did not leave Plymouth until after 
Feb. 28, 1655. and so must have taken 
up his abode at Dartmouth between 
1655 and 1660. 

Robert Hicks was one of the "old 
comers" to whom Dartmouth was 
granted, but by some mistake his 
name was omitted and the name or 
his son, Samuel, was substituted. 
When Robert died his heirs brought a 
petition to have this error rectified, 
and it was proposed that Samuel 
should consider the Dartmouth lands 
as belonging to his father and take 
only his share therein, but he re- 
fused, so in 166 2 the matter was sub- 
mitted to Samuel Jenny, James Shaw, 
and Arthur Hathaway to decide his 

proportion. The result has not been 
preserved. Samuel it appears retained 
possession of the Dartmouth lands. 
Arthur Hathaway purchased from 
Samuel Cuthbert in 1661, one-half 
share of land which was one-sixty- 
eighth of the entire territory of Dart- 
mouth. This gave him a standing as 
a proprietor independent of his wife's 
father. The lack of records of this 
period seriously impair all investiga- 
tion. There was a book l^ept by the 
land owners, which was burned in the 
house of Thomas Hathaway in 1725. 
Possibly it contained transactions or 
the town as a separate corporation, 
but the existing records of the town 
do not begin until 1673. After annual 
elections there were sent to Plymouth 
a list of the officials chosen at town 
meetings. Dartmouth chose a con- 
stable in 1664. but no selectmen are 
reported until 1667 and then Arthur 
Hathaway was one of the board. 

The duties of a constable at that 
time were manifold and must have 
been taxing. In 1633 it was found 
necessary to appoint a constable, and 
Joshua Pratt was chosen for Ply- 
mouth. Previous to that time Cap- 
tain Miles Standish had performed the 
duties which belonged to that office 
by virtue of his captaincy. Until 1638. 
the constable for Plymouth was mes- 
senger of the court, the prototype of 
the sergeant at arms of the Massa- 
chusetts legislature. His duty was to 
attend general court and court of 
assistants, to act as keeper of the 
jail, to execute punishment, to give 
warnings to such marriages as shall 
be approved by authority, to seal 
weights and measures and to measure 
out such land as shall be ordered by 
the governor or government. During 
the first twenty years after the town 
was established, Arthur Hathaway was 
eight terms "celect"-man. In 1674 
with Henry Tucker and Peleg Tripp 
he was empowered to lay out ever.v 
homestead. In 1671 he was appointed 
a magistrate. 

The official career of Arthur Hatha- 
way ends abruptly in 1684 and with 
the exception of two deeds, and a 
will he disappears from all recorded 
history. Twelve years later in 166 he 
decided to divide his lands. He owned 
on the east side of the Acushnet river, 
north of Dahl's corner. The south 
half he gave to his son, Jonathan, and 
the north to his son Thomas. The 
deeds were executed later and were 
not recorded until several years later, 
which would indicate that he was not 
ready to complete the transfer when 
it was first arranged. This was his 
farm where he lived. It included 
Captain Franklyn Howland's, and the 
Laura Keene farm, and land north 
and south. Some lands also included, 

are described as being near the tract 
which John Howard sold to James 
Samson, near Obsliokqutut, the Indian 
name for Fort Phoenix. These deeds 
are executed by his written signature. 
Nothing further appears concerning 
Arthur Hathaway until the probate of 
his will, which was dated February, 
1709-10, and presented to the court 
February. 1710-11. It was executed 
by his mark. The witnesses were John 
Cannon, Jr., Isaac Howland and Jona- 
than Delano. It states that he "was 
very weak of body but of perfect mind 
and memory." He gave to his wife 
Sarah the income of certain estate 
and a legacy of five shilling to each 
of his children: Thomas, Jonathan, 
Mary Hammond, Lydia Sisson, and 
Hannah Cadman. His real estate con- 
sisting of a half share of land in 
Dartmouth, he devised to his son 
John, whom he selected as executor. 
The sudden termination of his busi- 
ness and official career presents a cu- 
rious problem that defies explanation. 
His name does not appear even as a 
witness to any will or deed during 
that long period. His death probably 
took place within a month before the 
probate of his will. The inventory of 
his estate contained the following; 

One-half share of land, £200. 

Feather beds and bedding, £40. 

A Bible and other books, £5. 

Table linen, woolen, yarn and flax, 
3 iron pots, 2 iron kettles. 1 brass 
kettle, 2 brass skillets, a warming pan, 
barel of cider, 30 pounds of tobacco. 

The only debt due from his estate 
was a bill of Dr. James Tallman for 
£4 4s. 

There is no tradition nor record of 
where his house stood or his home- 
stead; it was probably not much, if 
any, east of the main road extending 
to Acushnet. The early settlers lo- 
cated their houses within easy access 
to the rivers where they could escape 
from the Indians. According to the 
will of Arthur Hathaway he left three 
sons and three daughters. 

John — Married (1) Joanna Pope, 
daughter of Thomas and S^ah Jen- 
ney Pope, 1732; (2) Patience. 

Thomas — Married Hepzibeth, daugh- 
ter of Nathaniel and Mary Starbuck. 
of Nantucket, 1748. 

Jonathan — Married Susannah Pope, 
daughter of Captain Seth Pope. 

Mary — Married Samuel Hammond, 
son of Benjamin Hammond. 

Lydia- — Married James Sisson, son 
of Richard Sisson. 

Hannah — Married George Cadman, 
son of William Cadman. 

About 1684 the Hammond family 
lived In that section of Rochester now 
Mattapoisett, and they owned expen- 
sive tracts near the Dartmouth line 

and on Mattapoisett Neck. Benjamin 
Hammond was a contemporary and 
associate surveyor with Benjamin 
Crane in the work in Dartmouth. The 
Sissons came to Dartmouth from 
Portsmouth, R. I. Richard owned 
land in Dartmouth, but probably 
never lived there and his interests 
came into the possession of his son 
James. His homestead was at the 
Head of Westport, on the south side 
of the road and n'est side of the river, 
and comprised the region from the 
river west to the Central Village road, 
and half a mile down the river. His 
house was at the corner near the 
bridge where he kept a public-house, 
and the place was known as 
"Si.=!Son'E." Her€ were held meetings 
of the proprietors, and here for over 
one hundred an 1 fifty years was a 

Hannah Hathaway married George 
Cadman. son of Honorable William 
Cadman, of Portsmouth, R. -I. George 
Cadman was one of the leading men 
of Dartmouth. He was selectman, 
treasurer and overseer of the poor. 
His name appears as a witness to most 
of the wills of his day. and he may 
have written them. Cadman's Neck 
was owned by his brother Richard. 

George Cadman's farm was very 
long, extending from the east branch 
of the Westport river northwest to 
Brownell's corner. It lay between two 
brooks, one or which is two miles 
south of the Head and is still called 
Cadman's brook. 

He died in 1718. leaving only one 
child, a daughter, Elizabeth, who mar- 
ried William White. Some part of his 
farm near the river was owned in re- 
cent years by the White descendants. 
While no information fixes the loca- 
tion of George Cadman's house, there 
is reason to suppose that it was near 
the river, on the south side of Cad- 
man's brook, on the farm recently 
owned by Stephen Kirby, and which 
for over a century was owned by the 
White family. 

The three sons of Arthur were far- 
mers, and do not appear to have 
sought public life. John and Thomas 
served one year each as constable, and 
John was once elected 'Tythingman." 

Thomas Hathaway was selectman 
for two years, and was clerk of the 
proprietors when his house was burn- 
ed down and with it the land records. 
This comprised the whole of their offi- 
cial career. In addition to the landed 
interests received from their father, 
they purchased largely from outside 
owners, and each family came into 
possession of several large farms. By 
marriage they became connected with 
several well known families in this 
section of the province. 

John, the oldest son, married Jo- 
hanna Pope, daughter of Thomas 
Pope, and Sarah "Jenne," both well- 
known families in Plymouth. (A well 
preserved Pope cradle of 1648 is ex- 
hibited in this building.) His second 
wife was Patience. 

The first wife had six children, and 
the second ten, and of these, ten were 

Thomas Hathaway married Hepzi- 
beth Starbuck, daughter of Nathaniel, 
of Nantucket, and Mary Starbuck, 
whose father was Tristram Coffln. 
This was the "Great Mary Starbuck," 
the founder of the Society of Friends 
at Nantucket. They had nine children, 
of whom four were sons. 

1671 Jonathan Hathaway married 
Susannah Pope, daughter of Captain 
Seth Pope, one of the leading men in 
Dartmouth, who was a brother of 
John Hathaway's wife, Johanna Pope. 
In this family there were ten children, 
of whom six were sons. From these 
three families there were twenty sons 
to perpetuate the name. 

John Hathaway — Married (1st) Jo- 
anna Pope, daugiiter Thos. and Sarah 
(Carey) Pope. 


Sarah — Married John Cadman. 

Joanna — Married Elkanah Black- 

John — Married Alice Launders. 

Arthur — Married (2) Maria Luce. 

Hannah — Married Boomer. 

Mary — Married Douglass. 

John Hathaway (married 2nd) Pa- 


Jonathan — Married Abagail Nye. 

Richard — Manied Deborah Doty. 


Hunnewell — Married Marv . 

Abialson — Married Mary Taber. 


Patience — Married Reuben Peck- 

Benjamin — Married Elizabeth Rich- 
mond, Mary Hi.x. 

James — Married Mary . 

Ebenezer — Married Ruth Hatch. 

Thomas Hathaway married Hepzl- 
beth Starbuck, daughter of Nathaniel 
and Mary (Coffln) Starbuck of Nan- 


Antipas — Married Patience Church. 
Apphia — Married Adam Mott. 
Elizabeth — Mairied John Clark. 
Mary- — Married Thomas Kempton. 
Thom&s — Married Lois Taber. 

Nathaniel — Married . 

Hepzibeth — Ma.rried Samuel Wing. 
Jethro^ — Married Hannah West. 
Pernel — Married . 

Jonathan Hathaway married Susan- 
na Pope, daught-.'r of Seth Pope. 



Abigail — Married Seth Spooner. 
Gamaliel — Married Hannah Hill- 


Seth — Married Hannah Willis 

Deborah — Married Jireh Swift. 

Jonathan — Married Bridget Delano. 


Elnathan — Married Esther Spooner. 

Paul — Married Ann . 

The three brothers above mentioned 
owned large sections of the ancient 

Jonathan's Hathaway's south line 
was at Dahl's corner, where the line 
between Fairhaven and Acushnet 
crosses the road. It extended north 
about one thousand feet, and from 
the river east over one mile, and 
was bounded on the north by the 
Laura Keene and Franklyn Howland 
farms. Thomas Hathaway had the 
estate next north, in width half a 
mile north and south, and extended 
back from the river over two miles, 
and comprising six hundred acres. 
Both had land on Sconticut Neck. 

Jonathan Hathaway had large 
tracts in the north part of Long Plain 
village, extending from Quaker Lane, 
north over half a mile, and the same 
distance east of the main road toward 
Rochester, and to the westward, across 
the river nearly to the Keene road. 

John Hathaway's land, chiefly on 
the west side of the Acushnet river, 
was in several tracts, and in area was 
about as extensive as that of his 
brother Thomas. His homestead ex- 
tended from the river out to Mt. 
Pleasant street, and began at a 
point 330 feet south of Davis street at 
the north line of the Coffin farm, and 
extended north as far as Brooklawn 
park. On the water front of this farm 
are located today the Whitman, Man- 
omet, Nonquitt and Nashawena mills. 
In the northeast corner on the river 
was a landing place as early as 1730. 
and here John McPherson started the 
village of Belleville in 1774. 

John Hathaway had another tract 
of 200 acres on the south side of Hath- 
away road, and extending west from 
Shawmut avenue to the ledge. On 
Shawmut its frontage is over half a 
mile. On the north side of the Tar- 
kiln Hill road were large tracts ex- 
tending down from the hill west be- 
yond the railroad, and east about the 
same distance. The house that he 
gave his son Arthur stands there to- 
day, and is still occupied. Arthur 
early moved to Ro'chester. and owned 
a large tract there. John also owned 


Built About 1725. 


Built about 1729. 
Near Tarkiln Hill. 


a large tract to the south of Sassa- 
quln pond, the east part of which be- 
came the farm of Jonathan Tobey. 

The location of the houses of Thom- 
as and Jonathan Hathaway can be de- 
termined, but not in the case of John. 
The location of the Belleville cemetery 
may indicate that John Hathaway's 
house was on the river front, and not 
far distant. In 1704 Acushnet avenue 
was laid out in its present location, 
and likely since then the farm house 
was on the road. There is neither 
record or tradition where it stood. In 
1730 he had a lane running east from 
Acushnet avenue about 300 yards to- 
ward Belleville. His house may have 
been at its end. 

When the road from Dahl's corner 
on the line between Acushnet and 
Fairhaven was laid out southerly to 
Oxford, it began at the corner of Su- 
sannah Hathaway's orchard. This 
was on the east side of the road at 
the north side of the Fork. If the 
house of Jonathan, her husband, stood 
nearby, as might reasonably be sup- 
posed, its location is then approxi- 
mately fixed. The Jonathan Hathaway 
farm was narrow and very long. Re- 
becca Hathaway, one of his descend- 
ants who died in 1S88. owned and oc- 
cupied a part of this farm. 

Next north of the Captain Franklyn 
Howland place is a solid two-story 
house, centre chimney, end to the 
road, and fronting south. It is known 
as the Stephen Hathaway house, from 
the fact that he was owner, and occu- 
pant for forty-six years from 1792 to 
1838. The house was built in 1725 
by Thomas Hathaway, whose former 
dwelling burned in 172 5, and in it all 
the records of the land-owners ot 
whom he was clerk. There he built 
the present house. It is one of the 
finest colonial houses in Old Dart- 
mouth. The inhabitants at Acushnet 
in 1711 concluded to avail themselves 
of local water-power instead of de- 
pending on the first enterprise estab- 
lished at Smith's Mills; so that an as- 
sociation was formed composed of the 
three Hathaway brothers, together 
with Seth Pope and Thomas Taber, 
and they obtained from the proprie- 
tors a grant of land on the north side 
of the road at the Head of the Acush- 
net. and on each side of the river. 
Here they built after 1711 a grist mill, 
and a saw mill. The Hathaways, 
Thomas and John, after 15 years, con- 
veyed their share to Nathaniel Shep- 
ard (in 1726). These mills were op- 
erated on both sides of the river un- 
til within a half a century, when those 
on the east side were demolished. The 
saw mill on the west side is still 

Titles were often added to names in 
deeds to identify the social standing 

of the individual. In 1728 John and 
Jonathan were known as yeomen. 
John signed with his mark, while 
Thomas and Jonathan wrote their 
names. Thomas was described first 
as a yeoman, and latterly as "gen- 

There is no tradition that either 
was entitled to adopt a coat of 
ai"ms. From works on heraldry it ap- 
pears that there was a Hathaway fam- 
ily in Devonshire and in Gloucester- 
shire that received grants of arms 
widely different in design. Stated in 
popular language, one comprised 
three silver birds on a black back- 
ground, and the other a silver bugle 
horn on a black ground, while the 
crest is a demi-lion rampant with a 
fleur-de-lys, in the dexter (right) paw 
in red. on a black ground. "The lion 
as an armorial device was used almost 
exclusively before the 13th century, 
intended to be emblematical of their 
bearer, and signified, to an eminant 
degree, strength, courage and gener- 

The church affiliations of these peo- 
ple are difficult to state as there was 
no religious organization in Dartmouth 
until 1699. Arthur Hathaway must 
have been a member of the Colonial 
church at Plymouth or Duxbury. Ac- 
cording to the tradition concerning 
John Cooke, it might be inferred that 
he was disposed toward a liberal 
adaptation of the Plymouth theology 
to changed conditions at Dartmouth 
where numerous families from Ports- 
mouth were inclined toward the Bap- 
tists and Quakers. Both of these sects 
had religious gatherings in Dartmouth 
as early as 1680, and quite likely the 
Plymouth emigrants on the east side 
of the Acushnet river, including the 
families of Samson, Spooner, Jenny, 
Pope, Cooke, Hathaway, Shaw and 
Palmer, may also have had some small 
house congregation. The meeting ''f 
Quakers was organized in 1699. and 
the First Congregational church at 
Acushnet was formed in 1708. Arthur 
Hathaway left nothing to show h'.^ 
choice. His name does not appear in 
relation to any (Quaker activities, _«o 
probably he remained connected with 
the first church. Without qtiestion the 
Hammonds of Rochester were stauncn 
members of the Pilgrim church. The 
Cadmans and Sissons probably were 
associated with the Quakers. 

In 1708 came the first clash be- 
tween the Presbyterians and the 
Quakers, which resulted in the great 
struggle in 1723 when the English 
king, George I, overruled the genera! 
court of Massachusetts and declared 
the Quakers entitled to freedom from 
contributing toward the maintenance 
of Congregational churches and min- 


isters. At the opening of the contest, 
which was urged chiefly in Dart- 
mouth, a petition signed by eighty-six 
men who were Qualvers and Baptists, 
was sent to the general court protest- 
ing against the church tax. This was 
signed by John and Thomas Hatha- 
way. The position of Thomas can be 
easily understood, because his wife be- 
longed to the leading Quaker familv 
of Nantucket. John's first wife was 
a sister of Captain Seth Pope, who 
was a vigorous Puritan. The second 
wife hasn't yet been identified, but 
the second marriage may have led to 
his favor for the Quakers. 

In 1736 the men connected with the 
Congregational church at Acushnet 
agreed to contribute one hundred and 
three pounds for the minister. It in- 
cluded the names of Jonathan Hatha- 
way, senior, and junior. As the father 
had married Captain Seth Pope's 
daughter this church relation is ex- 
plained. According to the usage of 
that day, women seldom owned real 
estate. In their wills the daughters 
were given money or personal chat- 
tels, but the houses and lands were 
given to the sons. Without attempting 
to describe in detail the descent of 
the extensive landed interests of the 
three Hathaway brothers, a brief 
statement will be given indicating the 
location of the homesteads of the 
nineteen grandsons of Arthur Hatha- 
way. Thomas had three sons; to Anti- 
pas he gave the north third of his 
homestead, part of which was recent- 
ly owned by George F. Lewis, and the 
house which he built was burned 
down last spring. The middle section 
he gave to Jethro, and this was the 
Stephen Hathaway farm in later 
years; while Thomas received the 
south third, which included the Laura 
Keene and Captain Franklin Howland 

Jonathan Hathaway had six sons. 
In the division of his estate Gamaliel 
received the narrow farm north of 
Dahl's corner; Paul received a house 
lot in Fairhaven village between 
Middle and Water streets, and the 
others, Seth, Jonathan, Silas, and El- 
nathan, received tracts in the north 
part of Long Plain. John Hathaway 
had ten sons. In 1730 he conveyed 
to each a small lot of one acre at 
Belleville, which was the first attempt 
to establish a village on the west side 
of the Acushnet, south of its head. 
They each had a farm. Jonathan re- 
ceived the north two-thirds of the 
homestead, including the Belleville 
and Nash farm. The south third of 
his homestead he gave to his son 
John, and this included the Peter 
Eutler, Tucker and Nye farms. Arthur 
received the farm on the north side 

of the road, and on the east side of 
Tarklin Hill, while the farm on the 
west side of the hill, extending wesc 
beyond the railroad, was given to 

Abiah had the north and south 
quarters of the farm on the south side 
of the Hathaway road, and west of 
Shawmut avenue, and Richard re- 
ceived the central part, comprising 
one-half. The latter is now owned 
by C. T. W. Gifford. 

The farm on the south side of Sasa- 
cowan pond, now called Sassaquin. 
went to Benjamin and James, and in 
the division James received the last 
half, which later was sold to Jonathan 
Tobey, and in recent yeai-s owned by 
Morton and others. 

The burial places in Dartmouth be- 
fore 1700 have been obliterated be- 
yond identification. The Quakers 
started slx. Apponegansett that year, 
and had their yard near the meet- 
ing-house. The Presbyterians built 
their church at the Head of Acushnet, 
1712. and since that date the church- 
yard has been a cemetery. Except in 
this burial place very few gravestones 
before 1800 are known to exist. The 
Quakers excluded them from all 1 ir- 
ial places before 1S50. 

Tradition states that John Cooke 
was buried near the shore at Ox- 
ford. In his will he gave the "land 
near the burial place to Arthur Hatii- 
away." The line of demarcation be- 
tween different religious sects in 
Dartmouth appears lo have been rec- 
ognized even to the grave. In the 
churchyard at Acushnet which John 
Jenney gave, "to the people of God 
called Presbyterians," none but mem- 
bers of the church were admitted — 
Jonathan Hathaway was loyal to this 
organization, was buried here, and 
near the stone that marks his grave 
are those of hi:, relatives and friends 
who stood steadfast to the Pilgrim 
church, but no gravestone appears at 
this place referring to Thomas or 
John Hathaway. The feeling had run 
too deep in the great controversy b<i- 
tween the Quakers, and Presbyterians, 
and these two brotliers had allied 
themselves with the Society of 
Friends. Although a family of abun- 
dant means, there is no information 
as to the location of the burial lot 
of Thomas Hathaway. Having adopt- 
ed the stern rule of the Quakers, they 
rest in unknown graves. 

On a hill overlooking the Acushnet 
river at Belleville is an ancient bury- 
ing ground. All that marks the 
graves are rows of rough stones 
taken from neighboring fields. Not 
a name or a date designates what 
person found here a last resting place, 
suggesting the influence of the Quak- 


er dominion that held control of Dart- of Jethro Hathaway. It was called 

mouth for nearly two centuries. Here in the deed "Ye old During Point, '* 

was the spot selected by John Hath- and is located on the river northwest 

away for the burial place of his fam- of the Laura Keene farm This may 

ily. have been the family burying ground 

In 1732 Antipas Hathaway con- of Arthur and Thomas Hathaway, 
veyed to Jethro Hathaway, a tract of The limits of this work will not nl- 

eight acres on the Acushnet river, the low tracing further the career of this 

most westerly part of the homestead Hathaway family. Including those of 

of Thomas Hathaway, bounded on the other names, the descendants of Ar- 

east by the creek up to Howards thur Hathaway are legion, from the 

brook, on the south by the property Atlantic to the Pacific. 



"One of the first steps of civilization 
is distinction of ranlss. Heraldry has 
been found serviceable as a means of 
marking that distinction. Symbols or 
devices of honor by all nations, 
from the earliest ages, to dis- 
tinguish the noble from the in- 
ferior. Heraldry as an art flourished 
chiefly under the feudal system. It is 
agreed by most antiquaries that the 
hereditary use of arms to distinguish 
families did not commence until the 
year 1230. The introduction of 
Heraldry in England is referred to 

the Crusades. Coats of arms are 
thought to be clearly referrable to the 
tournaments. A. D. 1190, the arms 
were on small escutcheons, worn at 
the belt. Every one engaged in the 
Holy Wars had the form of the cross 
sewed or embroidered on the right 
sleeve of his surcoat, whence the ex- 
peditions received the appellation of 
Crusades. After the Norman conquest, 
heraldry made rapid progress in 
England, and the high esteem in 
which it was held is attested by its 
union with other arts, especially 
painting and sculpture. Heraldry is 
thus connected with the lasting monu- 
ments of architecture." 



No. 32 

Being the proceedings of the Eighth Annual Meeting of the 
Old Dartmouth Historical Society, held in their building, 
Water Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts, on March 31, 1911. 








DIRECTORS William A. Wing 

TREASURER William A. Mackie 

MUSEUM SECTION Annie Seabury Wood 


Henry B. Worth 


William A. Wing 


William A. Wing 

[Note.— The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches " will be published by the 
Society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 


SF.P 1? 





Old Dartmouth Historical Society 



MARCH 31, 1911 

The following ofRcers were elected: 

President — Edmund Wood. 

Vice Presidents — George H. Tripp. 
Henry B. Worth. 

Treasurer — William A. Mackie. 

Secretary — William A. Wing. 

Directors (for three years) — Julia 
W. Rodman, Oliver F. Brown and Job 
C. Tripp. 

Director (for one year, unexpired 
term) — Cara L. Broughton. 

An addition to the society's col- 
lection of treasures was on view 
at the meeting, a set of carvings of 
the several varieties of whales, made 
by Frank Wood for the whaling room. 
The whales, sperm, right, bowhead, 
sulphur, bottom, finback and hump- 
back, are carved in silhouette on 
wooden panels about 16 inches 
in length, which are stained in 
green, affording an effective contrast 
to the black bodies of the animals 
represented. The carvings are abso- 
lutely accurate in detail, being copied 
directly from the -illustrations in 
Scammons's "Mammalia." 

The following tablet has recently 
been placed in the memorial arch: 

"In Memory of Jireh Swift 3rd. 
Born 1740. Died 1817. Served in 
the Revolution in the Trenches at 
Cambridge. From a great grandson, 
Jireh Swift 6th." 

President Wood addressed the meet- 
ing as follows: 

It will be sufficient for me to say 
that the year has been a good one; 
there have been some very interesting 
meetings, and the museum and re- 
search sections have done good work. 
The publications of the society have 
been kept up. 

In reading of the terriljle fire in 
the New York state Capitol at Al- 
bany, with the destruction of many 
valuable records, I felt that there wa.s 
a moral for societies like ours, re- 
lating to the importance of the pres- 
ervation of old documents and rec- 

There is a newer idea — the safe 
preservation of records — and a good 
deal is being done toward having 
them put in fireproof receptacles. 

There is also another method, and 
that is that the meat of these kernels 
of the past is being extracted by anti- 
quarians and by various historical so- 
cieties. The papers read before this 
society are full of facts taken from 
these valuable records, and the facts 
so taken are safe beyond peradven- 
ture. As we get out these import- 
ant facts, they receive the best pos- 
sible preservation in the publications 
that follow. 

Report of the Directors 


William A. Wing 

The Old Dartmouth Historical So- 
ciety greets its members at its 
eighth annual meeting. "VVe are 
still a society in its youth with many 
problems to face. Like in the older 
historical societies, some of these are 
difficult in their best solution. But 
there is at least one in which the co- 
operation of our members can servo 
perhaps to make us unique amon?j 
such organizations — prompt payment 
of dues! 

The various activities of the past 
twelve months are described more in 
detail in the various reports of the di- 

We have, as usual, the sad dut.v 
to announce the deaths of the 
following members: Joshua G. Bak- 
er, Lucretia G. Chace, William L. 
Chadwick, Harriet A. Church, Lydia 
H. Church, Charles H. L. Delano, 
Susan R. Fletcher, W. Trap Frees, 

Charles H. Gifford, Henry F. Ham- 
mond, Herbert E. Hicks, Jonathan 
Howland, Jr., Walter S. Howland. 
George Kempton, Elizabeth F. Nicker- 
son, William F. Nye, Sarah S. Ran- 
dall, Mary H. Stowe, Helen R. H. 
Stickney, Lloyd Swain, *C. A. M. 
Taber, Bertha W. Swift, Lucy E. 
Tisdale, Sarah G. Tompkins, Sarah 

*Life member. 

In the passing away of Mr. Lloyd 
Swain this society loses a friend who 
ser\ed as treasurer from its organiza- 
tion to 1906. His interest and co-op- 
eration in our needs make a kindly 
and pleasant memory. 

Thus in brief has passed the year of 
1910-11 of this society. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Wm. A. Wing, Secretary. 

Report of the Treasurer 


William A. Mackie 

William A. Mackie, treasurer, in ac- 
count witli Old Dartmouth Historical 

Society, from March 30, 1910 to March 
31. 1911: 


Balance March 30, 1910 $176.95 

Due 602.00 

Life members 75.00 

Admissions 62.00 

Publications 21.00 

Mechanics National bank 120.00 

Merchants National bank 27.00 

Commonwealth of Mass. rebate 

of tax 51.23 


N. B. InstitLition for Savings... $50.00 

Museum 38.06 

Salaries 150.00 

Labor 279.67 

Current expenses 251.12 

Repairs and improvements 131.30 


Balance March 31, 1911 235.03 



Respectfully submitted, 

Wm. A. Mackie, Tr 

Report of the Museum Section 


Annie Seabury Wood 

The Museum Section, in ]:)re.senting' 
its eighth annual report, congratu- 
lates the society and thanlvs the pub- 
He on account of the steady growth 
of its collections. 

Certain notable acquisitions among 
many acceptable ones deserve especial 
mention: First, a silver watch, the 
gift of Miss Elizabeth Bailey, which 
came down to her from an English 
greaL - great - grandmother. William 
Sawyer Wall was in England in 1798, 
and was paying a visit to his grand- 
mother, Mary Moreton. When he 
was about to return Lome, she took 
the watch from her side and sent 
it to his daughter, Mary Moreton 
Wall, her namesake. Miss Bailey is 
the daughter of Cornelius Bailey and 
Mary Wall. 

On exhiliition in our Oriental room 
is a beautifully carved frame made, 
specially to order, in China about 
ISGO, and presented to the society 
by Mrs. Clement N. Swift. 

In our Colonial room is an in- 
teresting oIq eneese press from the 
Morton House at Lakeville, given by 
Abbott P. Smith. 

From Mrs. Bertha Whitridge Smithy 
we have received some interest- 
ing embroideries belonging to the 
Whitridge family, and from Miss Mary 
Rodinan some hoinespuns and other 
ancient household relics of the Wil- 
bur and Rowland families, her an- 

A large oil painting of tlie Roman 
Forum bv William Wall was present- 
ed by Charles W. Clifford. 

We have also acquired an import- 
ant addition to our whaling collec- 
tion in a set of "heaving down' blocks. 
So far as we know, this is the only 
set in existence, and their use is en- 
tirely a thing of the past. They play- 
ed a very important part in old times 
in the coppering of the bottoms of 
\essels, and are as interesting in their 
way to us as the historic 'camels' of 
Nantucket are to the inhabitants of 
that famous island. The blocks were 
last used about 15 years ago to 'heave 
down' the bark Josephine. 

In January the entertainment com- 
mittee, which is drawn from the 
members of the Museum Section, pre- 
sented Roy Andrews of the Ameri- 
can Museum of Natural History, in an 
illustrated lecture on Hunting Whales 
with a Camera, and during the win- 
ter two well-attended and successful 
teas have been given. 

On Patriots' Day, April 19th, the 
committee proposes to present Mrs. 
John Colby Abbott in a talk on 
the Women of Versailles, illus- 
trating the life and dress of the 
French Court. The entertainment will 
be held in the rooms of the society 
and will be follo\.-ed by an informal 
tea. We hope for a generous patron- 

Respectfully submitted, 

Annie Seabury Wood, 

Secretary Museum Section. 

Report of the Historical Research Section 


Henry B. Worth 

The work of the Historical Re- 
search Section is not only to preserve 
and perpetuate facts that might be 
forgotten and lost, but to restore 
events to their original setting and 
combination. One of the tendencies 
of tradition is the rearrangement of 
details into varying and erroneous 
combinations. This is not due to 

fraud or deceit but to the frailty of 
the recollection. It is observed in 
court trials where witnesses of un- 
doubted veracity, flatly contradict 
each other in relation to recent 
events. Some details that are ob- 
scured or forgotten are supplied from 
different situations, and honest and 
intelligent people present seriously 

conflicting accounts of the same con- 
currence. Hence divergent traditions 
may be discovered concerning any 
historical fact. Giles Russell estab- 
lished an iron forge at Russell's Mills 
in 178 7. In a few years the story 
was current that this enterprise was 
conducted by a different person one 
hundred and thirty-five years earlier. 
It is astonishing how unwilling some 
are to reject the traditions that are 
full of mistakes. No amount of evi- 
dence to the contrary is sufficient to 
substitute fact for fiction. After ac- 
cepting the story without scrutiny and 
investigation, they continue loyal to 
the error. Some exhibit irritability 
at the suggestion of a doubt as 
their integrity was questioned. The 
trouble is that their informant was 

Every tradition should be tested 
by comparison with contemporary 
records. If the two are not in con- 
flict, the oral statement may be ac- 
cepted. But if there is discord, the 
tradition must yield. 

It is now proposed to call atten- 
tioin to a certain incident, the tradi- 
tion on which it is based and some 
records of contemporary history that 
have not heretofore been given due 

In Oxford village in Fairhaven, a 
few yards east of Cherry street, and 
extending from Lafayette street to 
Pilgrim avenue, is a lot which was 
conveyed in 18 33 by Thomas Bennett 
to Benjamin D. Coombs. In the 
south portion was an enclosure in 
which were licpt hens and swine. In 
the center was a hillock on which 
were spaces marked by rough stones 
after the manner of old burial places. 
This M^as purchased in 189 5 by the 
Fairhaven Improvement association 
and was renovated and graded. A 
boulder drawn from the river was lo- 
cated on the knoll and on a bronze 
tablet is the inscription, "Sacred to 
the memory of John Cook who was 
buried here in 169.5." 

The authority for the statement 
depends upon a tradition and it is 
thus repeated, as he received it, by 
one of Fairhaven's best informed cit- 
izens: 'John Cook was one of the first 
white settlers in Fairhaven. They 
had only one cemetery and that was 
at Oxford. There was once a slate 
slab lying flat on the knoll, having 
the names of forty or fifty persons 
who were buried there. This was 
completely obliterated over sixty 
years ago, so that no vestige of it 
remains; nor is there in existence a 
copy of the inscription nor any rec- 
ord who was buried there. 

To this is added from another 
source, that John Cook owned all 
this territory and it passed from him 

to the Taber family of which the late 
George H. Taber was a descendant. 
Oxford was part of the farm of 
Capt. Thomas Taber which he re- 
ceived from the proprietors of Dart- 
mouth 1672 and 1683. At his death 
in 1732, it passed to his son Philip, 
whoc onveyed it ten years later to 
William Wood, glazier. In the deed 
of 1760 from Wood to Elnathan El- 
dridge, transferring the part of Ox- 
ford west of Cherry street is a state- 
ment that the southeast corner was 
west of 'ye Burial Place.' So while 
this proves that the Oxford lot was 
used for burial purposes as early as 
1760, it should also be kept in mind 
that Taber, although a son-in-law of 
Cook, derived his title directly from 
the Dartmouth proprietors and that 
this burial place was never owned by 
John Cook. It never contained 
marked stones at any grave. 

It was a universal custom in Dart- 
mouth before 1700 that on each 
hoinestead farm was a plot devoted 
to burial purposes. Many of these 
spots have been forgotten and are 
unknown while some are still in 
existence. John Cook's homestead 
included the farm that is crossed by 
Coggeshall street leading from Main 
street to the bridge. According to 
the usual custom it would be ex- 
pected that his last resting place was 
on his homestead, if there were not 
some deeply significant records re- 
lating to another locality. 

In the south edge of Acushnet, 
half a mile south of the parting ways, 
the road to Fairhaven is crossed by 
a brook, that flows into the Acushnet 
river and at its junction forms a 
neck of land that is situated north- 
west of the Laura Keene farm. This 
may be designated for convenience 
Howard's Point. 

In Cook's will, probated in April, 
1696, he provides: "In- the first 
place I give to my son-in-law, Arthur 
Hathaway, and his wife, Sarah, my 
daughter, all my land in the point at 
or near the burying place in Dart- 
mouth, which I bought of John Rus- 
sell." This has been assumed by 
many to be at Oxford, but the Rus- 
sell deed in 1668 describes 'the point 
of land which I bought of Samuel 
Cuthbert adjoining to the house lot of 
John Howard, on the one side and 
the creek on the other.' Russell's 
deed froin Cuthbert in 1661 conveyed 
a small point of land of 4 or 5 
acres lying against the land of Cuth- 

Beside the devise in his will. Cook 
had in 1686 given to Arthur Hatha- 
way all that neck of land near the 
land of John Howard, bounded by 
the Acushnet river and on one side 
by Howard's land.' The farm con- 
taining the Brook was the Howard 

homestead and the farm south was 
owned by Cuthbert and 1661 con- 
veyed to Arthur Hathaway. So it is 
clear that the burial point in which 
Cook had sucli an interest, which he 
had purchased nearly thirty years be- 
fore his death, was the neck north- 
west of the Laura Keen farm. He was 
solieitious to have it stand in the 
name of his daughter and son-in-law 
who lived in the immediate vicinity. 
This Howard's point passed from Ar- 
thur Hathaway to his son Thomas 
who also acquired the Howard farm 
in 1715 and then conveyed both to 
his son Antipas. The latter in 1747, 
then living in Newport, transferred 
the farm to James Weeden but re- 
tained the neck. In 1751 Weeden 
sold the farm to Hezekiah Winslow. 
The land next south was then owned 
by Jethro Hathaway and was later 
known as the Stephen Hathaway 

The last record relating to the 
subject is a deed given in 1752 by 
Antipas Hathaway to his brother 
Jethro "a certain Point of land called 
ye old Burying Point in Acushnet 
Village, being ye most northwesterly 
part of ye Homestead of Thomas 
Hathaway deceased, bounded east on 
ye Creek, running up to Howard's 
Brook by Homestead of Hezekiah 
Winslow and by land of Jethro Hath- 
away." It remained for nearly a 
century part of the Stephen Hatha- 
way farm. 

The Homestead of John Cook was 
on the hill north of Oxford where 
the new lirick school house has been 
built and extended north to the 
Woodside cemetery and south to the 

Riverside cemetery. Somewhere on 
this farm according to the usage of 
that day would be his grave. But a 
mile farther north was a neck on 
the river which was a burial place 
as early as 1686; was owned by Cook 
and held by his descendants until 
modern times. In the light of this 
rec(jrd there is strong reason to sup- 
pose that Cook was laid in the point 
purchased by him and transmitted to 
his descendants. Opposed to this is 
the tradition that he was buried at 
Oxford on a lot which he never own- 
ed and in which he is not known to 
have had any interest, and where 
there was never an inscribed stone 
marking any grave. 

Without some record there can be 
no certainty where John Cook's 
grave is located, but judgment can- 
not be rendered in favor of the Ox- 
ford tradition. The foregoing repre- 
sents the stage of present informa- 
tion. If further facts are discovered 
and authenticated, a conclusion can 
be reached that will settle the in- 

This paper is presented to preserve 
in useful form some interesting his- 
torical data, but especially to illus- 
trate the method of testing tradition 
by comparison with contemporary 
records. There is no sound reason 
to condemn the method, because 
while it may result in discrediting 
popular reports and stories, it might 
frequently support and sustain the 
oral legend. Whichever consequence 
follows, truth should be the object 
sought without regard to the effect 
on accepted traditions. 

Report of Education Section 


Elizabeth Watson 

The education section cannot re- 
port definitely what has been accom- 
plished during the past year, inas- 
much as the school children and the 
various organizations that have been 
ir.vited to the rooms have come in- 
dividually, as opportunity offered, in- 
stead of collectively at stated times. 

Owing to the severe winter it has 
not been practicable to try to ar- 
range for the public school classes 
to visit the rooms with their teachers, 
but after the Easter Recess it is ex- 
pected that the plan will be carried 
out as formerly. 

Students from the textile school 
have shown an interest in the old 
loom and other devices for primitive 
textile work, while inspiration has 
been added to the industrial school 
by some of our exhibits, from wliich 
the pupils have taken measurements 
or made drawings. 

The work of this section is far- 
reaching, and the committee, appreci- 
ating its opportunities, regrets that no 
more has been done. 

Elizabeth Watson, 


Report of the Publication Section 

William A. Wing 

We who are so fortunate as to 
dwell in a community graced by such 
Institutions as the Old Dartmouth 
Historical Society and our new Public 
Library and who enjoy the many 
privileges so offered, may find it of 
some passing interest to know what 
facilities for the "great joy of read- 
ing" were afforded those who dwelt 
in Old Dartmouth some 200 years ago 
or more. 

The meagre lists of books owned by 
the most "bookish" folk in the old 
township — at least in that particular 
keep us from regret of the 
"good old days." The Puritan 'tis said 
was a man of "one Book — the Bible." 
In old Dartmouth's early days several 
were more liberally supplied, though is 
there scarce an instance of anyone 
possessing "Twenty Bookes at his 
Beddes heade" as did he of Chaucer's 

The Rev. Stephen Bachellor — one 
of the first Oxford graduates in this 
country and ancestor of many an old 
Dartmouth inhabitant and of many 
members of this society had really 
for his time and place a very great 
library which in the year 1644 was 
burned with his home. In a letter to 
his staunch friend, Gov. Winthrop, 
he much bemoans the loss of his 
"goodly store of bookes." 

The libraries of those early days 
were composed of very large and very 
small books. There was scarcely any 
"happy medium." That ancient worthy 
— Henry Tucker — who died in 1694, 

possessec^ "Two Bibles, one Testament 
and one Concordance." 

John Russell — old Dartmouth's First 
Deputy — in 1695 left "one Bible and 
several other Bookes" valued at £16. 

John Cook, Pilgrim, Pioneer and 
Preacher, in 169 6 died possessed of 
"Two Bibles and 6 other books" worth 
£2 in all. 

Arthur Hathaway, the "Magis- 
trate," who died in 1711, had "a 
Bible and other books" at 10s. 

Hugh Mosher, First Pastor of the 
First Baptist Church in 1713 left 
"2 Bibles and other books all at £3." 

The most scholarly man in town 
very properly was the Reverend Mr. 
Saniuel Hunt of the Church Presby- 
terian who in 1730 was inventoried 
to "his bookes £32, 14s, 6d." The de- 
tails unfortunately of this interest- 
ing library are omitted. Peleg Slo- 
cum, that "honest publick Friend" 
had, we know, at least a great Bible, 
leathern bound and ]irasa clasped. 

John Akin, Captain, Town Clerk and 
"gentleman" as he was styled, had at 
hi.s death in 1746; a large Bible, £10, 
and likewise "Hell's Torments," and 
other small books at 8s. — let us hope 
some of the others were more cheer- 
ful at least in title. 

Thus would our Publication Section 
preserve the results of research of 
even more humble minutiae in the 
story of old Dartmouth's days and 

Respectfully submitted 

Wm. A. Wing, chairman. 

Report of the Photograph Section 

William A. Wing 

It was in the year 174 7 that Wil- 
liam Almy of "Punkatest" (Tiverton. 
R. I.,) wrote his will. There was 
much of worldly goods to be be- 
queathed (for that day) — nearly £8000 
in money, about 500 cattle, 
seven slaves, lands and such treas- 
ures as sliver spoons and "great sil- 
ver tankard." From his mansion 
Squire William Almy might look to 

the westward across the Seaconnet 
river and see in the distance the 
ancient homestead of his grandfather, 
William Almy of Portsmouth, R. I., the 
"first comer," and of his father. Gover- 
nor Christopher Almy. In fact, one 
could almost locate their burial places. 
And near his own dooryard (as was 
the custom) was the spot to be his 
own last resting place. Wherein was 

already laid his wife (born Deborah 
Coolve). Though as at such a time 
his mind was not only upon death 
and the dead, but upon the living. 
For there were children to be hand- 
somely provided for. 

His daughter, Rebecca, the wife 
of Holder Slocum, of old Dartmouth, 
and a lady of much "quality," was to 
receive £500, a negro woman "Hagar," 
silver spoons and chairs, his son 
Job Almy, who had married into the 
wealthy Tiilinghast family of New- 
port, was to have "lands and hous- 
ing at Quanset, Dartmouth, where he 
dwelt and where he built him three 
houses, each with a gambrel roof as 
his fortunes increased by legacies and 

accumulations and there they stan'l 
today still in the possession of de 

In our photograph room may 
be seen pictures of William Al- 
my's "Punkatest" mansion, the burial 
place of his parents, the Governor and 
his "Lady and the three gambrel roofed 
houses at Quansett, the homes of his 
son. Job Almy, so that our pho- 
tograph section at least preserves 
"presentments' of what meant so 
much to Mr. William Almy as he 
wrote his will in the year 1747. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Wm. A. Wing, Chairman. 



No. 33 

Being the proceedings of the Thirty -third Quarterly Meeting of the 
Old Dartmouth Historical Society, held in their building, Water Street, 
New Bedford, Massachusetts, on 29 September, 1911 


Edmund Wood 


William A. Wing 

[Note. — The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the 
Society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 





Old Dartmouth Historical Society 



29 SEPTEMBER. !91l 

Address — Benjamin Russell 


Edmund Wood 

One of the most reliable sources of 
historical material to the student of 
our earliest Colonial Days has always 
been the land records. Old Dartmouth 
is notably rich in the possession of a 
perfect treasure-house of this inval- 
uable material. 

It is most remarkable that the or- 
iginal field notes of the surveys of 
Benjamin Crane, first surv<;yor to the 
Dartmouth Proprietors, have been 
preserved in good condition for two 
hundred years. Not a map or a platt- 
ing of a survey made by him has 
ever been found although innumerable 
ones must h^ve been made. But the 
note books containing courses, dis- 
tances and areas and generally the lo- 
cation have come down to us in good 

These books are eleven in num- 
ber and date from 1710 to 1721. Sup- 
plementing these are two similar 
books by Benjamin Hammond, 
Crane's successoi as surveyor to the 
proprietors from 1723 to 1741, and 
one book by Samuel Smith who fol- 
lowed at a later date, from 1768 to 

All these records of the original 
surveys came into the possession of 
the New Bedford Free Public Library 
a few years ago. 

In one of the early meeting of this 
society, one of our members, A. McL.- 
Goodspeed, read an erudite paper on 
the subject of these books, their inter- 
est and their value. 

In it he expressed the hope that 
some way would be found to more 
surely preserve these treasures, either 
by printing or photographically re- 
producing them. 

It is noteworthy and commendable 
that the trustees of our city library 
have done both and with lare good 
taste. The large volume recently 
published shows half tone pictures 
of every page and opposite, the text 
in printed form. 

We acknowledge with pleasure 
the receipt of a copy of this book 
from the library trustees and it has 
been added to our growing collection. 

Although his later life was spent 
ill Wakefield in this state he always 
showed a sincere attachment for this 
society and the past life and achieve- 
ments of the locality which this so- 
ciety seeks to commemorate. 

In 1873 he published a volume of 
verse entitled 'Rhymes from a Sailors' 
Journal' and we have found a copy 
in the Millicent library. 

This shows a facility at rhyming 
and many of the subjects have a de- 
cidedly local flavor — 'The Whaleman's 
Return,' 'Written Soon After Watch- 
ing Whales in a Stortn.' 

The author was at one time dur- 
ing his life the captain of the whale- 
ship Millinocket. 

One of the longer poems entitled 
'The Old Puritanic Burial Ground,' 
describes the historic cemetery at 
Acushnet, and contains one or two 
bits of description which revive de- 
tails which have been almost forgot- 
ten. 'The old horseblocks that 
flanked its sides unused and mossed 
for many a year. 

In his later years he wrote and 
published several books on scientific 
subjects: 'The Ice Age, Past and 
Coming,' 'Our Periodical World,' 'Our 
Periodic Earth,' 'Cause of Geologic 

The bequest from an appreciative 
Son of Old Dartmouth, for which we 
are very grateful, nourishes the hope 
that there are many patriotic mem- 
bers of this society who plan to be- 
stow upon it some generous memo- 
rials of their affectionate regard. 

Since our last meeting a life mem- 
ber of this society has died — Charles 
Austin Mendall Taber. 

He was born in Acushnet and 
married a Miss Lund of that town. 

In his will he bequeathed to this 
society the sum of $15 — and this be- 
quest has already been paid. 

"The society has received from Wil- 
liam W. Crapo, its first president, a 
valuable gift. Four of the original 
cartoons of Arctic Whaling Scenes, 
drawn bj' Benjamin Russell. These 
drawings delineate with faithfulness 
the catastrophe to our whaling fleet in 
the Arctic Ocean in 1871. These are the 
originals from which the lithographs 
were made, which were published and 
had quite a sale at the time. Many 
New Bedford homes had these pic- 
tures framed hanging on the wall. 
This disaster was the greatest which 
had ever befallen our chief industry. 
The loss of property involved, direct- 
ly or indirectly, nearly every inhab- 
itant of Old Dartmouth, and in those 
days of fewer works of fiction and no 
theatres with thrilling moving pictures 
the exciting tales of miraculous escape 
and heroic struggles, brought real ro- 

mances intimately into hundreds of 
households. Mr. Crapo a few years 
ago purchased and presented to this 
society one of the original drawings 
of this artist, and with the four new 
ones just received, we are indebted to 
him for an extremely valuable col- 
lection, which with the decline of 
whaling has an ever increasing his- 
torical value. 


The historian of any epoch, in his 
researches for new material is always 
attracted by what seems to be notes 
taken on the spot. These are consid- 
ered more valuable, because of their 
crispness and ,frankness. They are 
generally written for a very limited 
number of eyes to see, and they record 
the honest first impressions. There 
has been no time to calculate on the 
possible results of saying what one 
really thinks, and trimming the real 
belief to please other peoples, or to 
agree with the view of other observ- 

It is this which makes the diary one 
of the best corroborative records. 

The publication of Pepys' diary 
gave a truer insight and a more inti- 
mate view of the interesting details 
of English life at the time of the 
Restoration than any state paper or 
contemporaneous history. 

This observation is also true of 
sketches made on the spot. These 
bring back to us the past as it really 
appeared at the time to the artist. 
It is unfortunate that when we go 
back beyond the discovery of pho- 
tography we find so little o.f this valu- 
able historical material. 

Stop and think a little of how 
different the future historian is go- 
ing to view the period in which we 
now live. Not only are we flooded 
with the printed word on every phase 
of thought and action, but we are sur- 
rounded by cameras to perpetuate 
every view. 

Nor are these laborious sketches 
of scenes drawn slovenly, and omitting 
more or less of the detail — but pho- 
tography is instantaneous and greed- 
ily grasps every detail. And now we 
have the moving picture, which gives 
us action as well as position. 

It is evident the future will know 
us to the life, as we lived, and moved 
and had our being. 

Old Dartmouth has been fortunate 
in that it possessed artists as well 
as historians to jot down impressions 
and mirror for us the past. 

At previous meetings I have taken 
up the work of William Bradford and 
also of William A. Wall. Tonight we 
are being reminded of another of our 
last century artists because we have 
received from Mr. Crapo five valuable 
original drawings of Benjamin Russell. 

In 1S3 we had in New Bedford 
two commercial houses which at the 
time overshadowed all others, on the 
one hand' were the Rotch's carrying 
on both foreign commerce and whal- 
ing with long continued success, on 
the other hand were Seth and Charles 
Russell, who had recently increased 
the prestige of that family and were 
rich and powerful. Some of their 
foreign ventures in commerce were 
brilliant, they carried a large bank bal- 
ance in London, they owned many 
merchant ships and whaleships, and 
they had also acquired a large amount 
of real estate within the town. The 
two brothers ^^■ere the sons of Seth 
Russell senior, who was grandson of 
Joseph Russell 2nd. and the nephew 
of Joseph Russell 3rd and of Caleb 
Russell 1st. 

There was some rivalry between 
some of the older merchants and 
these two brothers, Seth and Charles 
Russell. The later were called pro- 
gressive, they took long chances and 
with uniform success. But soon there 
came reverses, then the tide seemed to 
turn against them and finally came 
the when the brothers failed, 
and much property and real estate in 
the city changed hands. 

Benjamin Russell, the artist was 
the son of Seth, the older of these 
tuo merchants. He was brought up 
while the fortunes of the house were 
booming. He loved sketching, gen- 
erally in black and white, most often 
in lead pencil, but later ^^'ashed in 
with India ink and finished with a 
fine brush point and with a pen. He 
sketched much about the wharves and 
on the ships, and must have been 
an industrious draughtsinan. It was 
here that he first gained his intimate 
knov.iedge of the sails and ropes and 
ships tackle. His drawings are noted 
for their exhibitions of an exact 
knowledge of the rigging of a ship. 
He knew the ropes. In this respect 
man^' of his pictures are more acu- 
rate than they are artistic. He has 
drawn finely pencilled lines of running 
rigging which never could have been 
seen by the naked eye from the point 
of view of the observer. Although 
he couldn't really see them at that 
distance he knew they were there 
and so he drew them in and ran 
them along where they should be. 

I have not been able to learn how 
.much teaching he had in art. He cer- 
tainly had considerable talent for 
drawing and some skill in composi- 
tion, but he had ability with color. 

The great dis;ister in the Arctic 
in 1871 when so many of our ships 
were lost gave him his greatest sub- 
jects and on these pictures his repu- 
tation will chiefly rest. 

I will not attempt to enumerate 
the different works of this artist 

■which are now known to exist. It 
will be sufficient to say that this so- 
ciety now owns six of his originals 
and five of the reproductions by 

Benjamin Russell was at one time 
in the ship chandlery business, but he 
does not seem to have been promi- 
nent as a business man. He was, I 
believe, at one time a director of the 
Old Marine Bank. 

There is a story that he drew an 
interesting caricature of one of the 
directors' meetings, which was re- 
markably true to the life. In it the 
almost life-long president of that in- 
stitution was represented as seated at 
the head of the table on a cake of ice. 
This picture was said to be exceed- 
ingly popular with certain disappoint- 

ed applicants for discount, who had 
been chilled by the presidential at- 

Eenjamin Russell's largest and 
most ambitious work was the execu- 
tion of a panoramic series of pic- 
tures of a whaling voyage done on h. 
large scale. Some of these pictures 
had exceeding merit and much spirit. 
This panorama was exhibited several 
time in local halls and at an exhibi- 
tion of this society and also in many 
other cities, and now belongs to one 
of our members, Benjamin Cummings. 
It will always have great historic in- 
terest, and it is to be hoped that the 
present owner of it will decide that 
the only fitting repository for it is the 
treasure house of this historical so- 

The Early Poetry of Old Dartmouth 


William A. Wing 

Old Dartmouth had early some 
poetic affiliations even if a bit far- 

Mary Holder, the wife of Peleg 
Slocum, was a kinswoman of Edmund 
Spenser and 'tis said some of his 
poems were written at her ancestral 
home "Canons Ashby" in a room 
known to this day as "Spenser's 

A close relative was Sir John Dry- 
den — Poet Laureate of England. Now 
'tis very probable that Good wife Slo- 
cum. never read any of her distin- 
guished relatives' poems and would 
undoubtedly have been mightily 
shocked if she had. The Friends 
frowned on "Rhymes and Rhym- 
sters." The goodfolk of Old Dart- 
mouth had the incomparable po- 
etr.v of their Bibles. Their chil- 
dren also, such poetry as there 
was in the "New England Primer" 
that "Little Bible of New Eng- 
land" as it has been called. Per- 
haps they too, learned the Elizabeth 
Isles in rhyme and their alphabet in 
"sing-song" as in our own childhood. 

There were quaint bits of poetry in 
the early almanaks and occasional 
poems in the likewise occasional 
newspapers. There were doleful hymns 
in the old "Psalm and Hymn 'Tune- 
Book" used in the ancient church at 
the "Head-of-The-River" as early as 

The ministers of this same old 
church were scholars "college-bred" 
with meagre libraries but in their day 
so much attention and opinion were 
given to the Greek and Latin poets 
that those writing in English received 
comparatively scant consideration. 

Such was the condition of the Muse 
of Poetry in Old Dartmouth previous 
to the middle of the seventeen hun- 
dreds. So, cleverly she made some 
attacks upon the place from without. 

William Chandler of Connecticut, a 
surveyor, (father of the famous Co- 
lonial clergyman. Rev. Dr. Thomas 
Bradbury Chandler of New Jersey), 
brought out a poetic effusion in the 
form of a broadside, entitled: "A 
Journal of a Survey by Order of 
Royal Commissioners, 1741." It 
begins — 

These lines below describe a full 

Of all the coasts along the 'Gansett Bay, 
Therefore attend and quickly you sha'u 

Where it begins and how far it doth 

But stop my muse let's haste on our 

And stretch our coast along the east- 
ward Bay. 

So then from thence we measured by 
the sands 

An eastward course along tnese pleas- 
ant lands. 

And we came to Dartmouth, a most 
liberal town, 

Whose liquid treats their generous 
actions crown. 

Here is the place where we did end 
our work, 

Here we left, off (and did it with a 

And then retired our field-book for to 

And of this large survey to make a 

This tribute shows that evidentlj' 
New Bedford of today is no worse 
than Old Dartmouth of the past. We 
^^ onder if the son, the ponderous 
clergyman, was like his father or in- 
different to '"liquid treats." 

Mary Tallman, (a daughter of Wil- 
liam) in 1769 at the age of 10, (so 
says a descendant), wrote little 
rh>-ming-notes to her neighbor and 
playinate, Hannah Pope. The post- 
oflice was a hollow tree that o\er- 
hung the brook separating their home- 
steads. It is to be regretted that those 
little lyric letters have disappeared. 

Captain James Gushing of Boston 
(appearing on the muster rolls as 
"Cushin' and "Cushion") from Colonel 
Paul Revere's Regiment, was sent 
to Dartmouth just before the British 
Raid in 1778 in command of a 
company of artillery consisting of 
about eighty privates. A bit of po- 
etical History probably concerning him 
follows — - 


In Newport there's been found of late 
A grand, important, full debate. 
The Council met — and all agree 
That rebels must be made to flee 
But to what place, pray can we go, 
Where's the least danger of the foe? 
And bravely forth for stealing stand? 
The man is found, here is brave Gray, 
Ready to lead to such a fray. 


Quick, quick your light horse then 

Embark you men with utmost care, 
To Dartmouth quickly tlien set sail 
And burn and plunder without fail. 
Tlien men einbark witliout delay 
And soon tliey pass the mighty Bay 
Fortliwitli they land on Dartmoutli 

"VV^ith soldiers, tories, many score. 
They soon advance witliout a frig-lit. 
For Friends and Quakers will not fight. 
Bolder they grow and nothing fear. 
Then men advance from front to rear. 
No opposition do tliey meet 
Till they approach the second street, 
And now begins the mighty fray, 
A Cushion there obstructs tlie way. 
They all draw up the battle line 
With caution, prudence vast design. 
With vigor too the attacks they make 
To kill or wound or prisoners take. 
Pusli on brave boys, your pointed steel 
Will make tlie mighty tyrant reel. 
We'll bring tlie liauglity tyrant down 
That dares usurp a lady's crown. 
The action's warm; the battle strong; 
The Cushion could not stand it long. 
No re-inforcement coming in 
Tlie Cushion's number l3eing tliin, 
The battle's won by gallant Gray 
Who now pursues witliout delay 
His grand design to burn and steal 
Fat sheep and oxen, lamb and veal. 
These are the wondrous feats they do. 
Witli all their grand parade and shew. 
Go sneaking liome and tell your king 
His folly doth through Europe ring. 

Silas Delano of that part of Old 
Dartmouth (now known as Fair- 
haven,) just after the Revolution tells 
of his runaway servant thus — 


A handsome premium can be had 

By him who will convey 
To me a light-liaired, slim-shanked lad 

Who lately run away. 
Whose name is Dudley Williams called. 

He's major, sir, and squire. 
And won the title he's held 

Of swindler, knave and liar. 
And coward for it is a fact 

He will not flglit a feather 
For which a cowhide strip'd his back 

And tanned the rascals leather. 
He left his creditors behind 

Their losses to bewail. 
Being determined in his mind 

To give them all Leg Bail. 
He stole two horses from the reels 

As he run from Dartmouth town 
Mounted them quick took to lieels 

And has not since been found. 
Two hundred dollers I'll give quick 

To anv clever fellers 
That will the scoundrel convict 

And bring him to the gallows. 
Whether any "clever fellers" re- 
ceived the $200 reward research does 
not show. 

On May 13, 1793, "Mr. Charles 
Church, senior, of (what is now 
Fairhaven), attempting to cross the 

harbor in an open beat to the eastern 
shore, was overset by a whirlwind and 
drowned, aet. 53." 

This elegy appeared, "Written in 
the Evening" by "Philander," in faint 
imitation of the poet Gray. 


W^hat time pale Cynthia holds her 
feeble sway. 
And waning cheers the solitary plain. 
Say Misery, feels't thou one reviving 
Or does the silence but augment thy 

Tlie weeping muse has heard the 
mournful tale; 
His soul is summoned to eternity! 
O'er life's gay scene Deatlt spreads his 
shadowy veil 
And Churcii, tliat cypress is entwin'd 
for thee I 

Tranquil the deep soft zephyrs fan'd 
the wave. 
But fatal prov'd tiaat inauspicious 
High Heaven ordained for thee a Wa- 
tery Grave; 
Nor could'st thou fly the unrelenting 

To add to the general gloom of the 
little community three days later, the 
"amiable and truly virtuous" Miss 
Eetsey Tripp deceased of a "consump- 
tive disorder," aet. 2 5. 

"W'ith a comely person were such 
graces as endeared her to all." 

The following elegiac lines written 
by "A Friend" were spoken of as "apt 
on the sad occasion." 

O! Betsey, how transient is the dream 
of life 
And every care-felt comfort we en- 
And frot with care, solicitude and 
Each hour attempts our blessings to 
All human scenes are subject to decay, 
And time asserts an all prevailing 
Expanding beauties to the morning's 
We bloom to wither as this tender 
flower. A Friend. 

At least one "sighing swain" in old 
Dartmouth invoked the Muse general- 
ly to "Pella" and signed "L". His 
identity if ever disclosed, is today un- 

The following written in 1793 is 
perhaps as worthy a "taste of his 
quality" as any: 


With Pella at eve thro the grove 

I'll innocently walk; 
And all the way of kindest love 

In friendly converse talk. 


While towns are chok'd with dust and One sigh when generous pity calls 

noise, Shall in. my breast have room. 

Here I and Pella stray; I weep when e'er a good man falls 

No rattling chariots harm our joys. She said. We wander'd home. 

But round us lamkins play. 

Or else by Quishnett's peaceful stream 

We wander hand in hand; ,_, 

See, oe'r his face the zephyrs skim These early poetic efforts, humble 

And drive the waves aland. crude and even absurd, have in- 

Look! Pella cries. Boat following boat H''''^^ 11"^ J^^v^ ^°'' "^ ^?-'^V:- '" ^^""^ 

Thev blacken all the flood! they cast a glimmering light on cer- 

One all acreen! The oars afloat tain phases of their time, as does 

Alas! that e'er I viewed. nothing else. 

Some luckless squall not felt ashore The Muse in Old Dartmouth strove 

May cause a tear at sea- ^^^ ^^' ^^ vain. Surely she has a 

How soon the joyful scene' is oe'r, rightful place in the History of Early 

How frail our pleasures be. American Poetry. 



No. 34 

The Proceedings of the Thirty-fourth Quarterly Meeting held 
in their building, on January 12, 1912. 



By Mary E. Austin 

[Note — "The Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published bj the 
Society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each, on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 



Thirty -fourth Quarterly Meeting 

President Wood addressed the 
meeting. Perhaps the most im- 
portant mission of a society like 
this is a study of the habits and cus- 
toms of our ancestors. The sources 
of our information are public, private 
and religious records. Manj- of the 
records were perishable, and when- 
ever anything of importance happened 
our ancestors were pretty sure to jot 
it down. We have to go largely to 
the records for our information but 
it is known that records of our local 
history are perishable, but the re- 
search members of our society 
are given publicity and whatever we 
do now is embalmed forever for fu- 
ture generations. Our records of our 
own research and the modern publi- 
city make the records practically im- 
perishable. What we rescue becomes 
so disseminated as to be indestructi- 
ble and immortal. Our research com- 
mittee should be encouraged to pre- 
serve any and all records of local his- 
tory and more of our members should 
be interested and stiinulated in the 
gradual study of some pha&e of the 
past A great many of our members 
are interested in studying back into 
the past of their own families and 
other subjects as a recreation and 
pastime. If only the members would 
jot down their research the material 
will gradually accumulate until a val- 
uable paper is the result. 

The life our ancestors lived here 
was simple compared to the present 
day, yet a life full of passion and 
love, full of complex bearing, full of 
jealousies and loyalty, gaiety and sor- 
row, yearning and striving. The rec- 
ords that come down from the old 
time were only fair. The records were 
often only the barest facts, records of 
births, marriages and deaths, the ac- 
quirement and sales of land — that is 

And still those lives were full, not 
just like ours of the present day. 
Li\ing then was more even, and per- 
haps monotonous at times. There was 
no telephone and no quick transport- 
ation. Later in our colonial history 
life became more complex with the 
thicker settlements along the Acush- 
net river and the growth of coinmerce 
and the relations of a larger world. 
The returning mariner brought the 
element of romance, and the suspi- 
cion of other views of life which 
seemed heretical. 

The public vital records contain 
little to help us in the realization of 
this intimate social life. We get more 
from private papers, letters and dia- 
ries of the old time. Here we have 
vivid pictures, sketched upon the spot, 
opinions from a contemporaneous 
point of view. Then in many 
localities we have the religious 
records. Wherever the Quakers 
abounded there we find their 
help more abundant than else- 
where. Their records are the more 
valuable from the fact that the Qua- 
kers have been particular, more so 
than almost any other sect. We find 
records of very frequent meetings and 
the doings faithfully recorded. The 
presiding officer was always the clerk. 
The Quakers didn't believe that a 
chairman was essential as the spirit 
was the guiding matter. The record 
was made by some designated per- 
son. Importance was given to the wo- 
men Friends and in no other society 
will you find a dual record. It is well 
known that the most important rec- 
ords are those of the Friends of this 
locality. It is interesting to know 
when a member of our society con- 
fesses she has been interested for 
years in research, and has prepared a 
paper from such research. 

Courtship and Marriage 
of Ye Old Time Quakers 


Courtship and Marriage of Ye Old Time 




George Fox had just reached his 
majority, when the great battle of 
Naseby was fought. 

Green writes in his History of Eng- 
lish people: "The shoclv of war had 
broken the bands of custom and giv- 
en a violent impulse to the freest 

Into this age of swift changes, step 
men who were resolved to seek God 
after their own fashion, and who 
were as hostile to the despotism of 
the national church as to the despot- 
ism of the king. 

Among these men stands the Qua- 
ker founder. This was the age when 
Roundhead and Cavalier stand with 
drawn swords, and All England with 
throes of war. Accepting a captain's 
commission would have released Fox 
from Derby prison. But he believes 
war is unlawful, and he will not ac- 
cept his release through any method 
that will compromise conscience. 

He who followed in the footsteps 
of Fox must abjure theatre, card 
playing, races, bull-baiting, cock- 
fighting, dancing, Christmas decora- 
tions and festivities. Quakerism was 
a protest against the times, against 
manners, and customs, speech and 
literature, societies and religion. 

The girls of the seventeenth cen- 
tury enjoyed but a brief childhood. 
Then even in the nursery, worldly 
parents were selecting for them hus- 
bands, and were sometimes in so 
much of a hurry to secure great ad- 
vantages of family and fortune, that 
little girls found themselves saddled 
with the responsibilities of marriage 
before they had hardly time to put 
away their dolls. 

Such marriages often productive of 
the greatest unhappiness, gave seri- 
ous offence to the Quaker leader, and 
very early, in his journal, he treats 
upon marriage. 

Within ten years of Fox's first ap- 
pearance as a preacher, meetings of 
the Friends were established in most 
parts of England. From the first, 
they had repudiated the marriage 
ceremonies of the church, and mar- 
ried in their own fashion, without 

priest, altar or ring. Very early, the 
legality of these marriages was called 
in question, and the children sneered 
at as bastards. 

A suit was begun, by a kinsman of 
a Quaker, who had died, to prove that 
his child was illegitimate and could 
not heir the property. "The Quakers 
go together like brute beasts," said 
the plaintiff's counsel. But the judge 
held that marriage was constituted 
by mutual consent, and remarked: 
"That was a true marriage when 
A.dam took Eve and Eve took Adam." 
Thus the Quakers were saved from 
the curse that threatened to blight 
their hearthstones. 

In view of the public and private 
charges made against the Quaker 
home, the monthly meetings were 
charged to attend very carefuilv. to 
keeping a record of marriages ' and 
births, and to see that all persons 
"walked orderly according to their 

"Walked orderly according to pro- 
fession" was an "elastic clause," that 
developed finally into hard and fast 
customs, hardly compatible with the 
doctrine that life, conscience and 
worship must be guided by the spirit 
and not by man. 

Birthright membership made a vast 
amount of trouble. At first one had 
to be a believer before he could be 
a member of a Quaker meeting. But 
when the children of accepted Friends 
were counted as members of the 
"Faith," the meetings had to deal with 
numbers of young people, who had no 
real interest in the Quaker doctrines, 
who wanted to follow worldly fash- 
ions in dress, which they did in spite 
of the meeting, and who insisted in 
marrying outside of the society, if 
they pleased. 

Hence the ruling of the Discipline, 
"Children must be disowned if they 
marry not Friends — unless they make 
an acknowledgment that they have 
done wrong." 

Items o.f the records of the Nan- 
tucket, and Dartmouth Monthly Meet- 
ings bear full evidence that the 

Friends in our vicinity were not lax 
in enforcing tiie rules. 


"176S — Our visitors inform tliis 
meeting tliat they have treated with 
S D respecting her marry- 
ing with a man of different per- 
suasion, but do not find in her any 
disposition to condemn her fault. It 
is the judgment of the meeting that 
she be set aside as one with whom 
Friends had no unity." 

"172 4 — A N signed an ac- 
knowledgment that among other 
things 'she had gone out from and 
against the mind, will and allowance 
of my tender parents in performing 
her marriage." 

"1762 — N R acknowledged 

that for want of keeping close to ibe 
divine light, having married contraiy 
to the advice of Friends, I am sin- 
cerely sorry and hope for the time 
to come to be more careful." 

"1800 — L S disowned for 

keeping company with a man not a 
member and for attending a mar- 
riage out of the order of Friends." 

"1804 — B C had married a 

member of our society sooner after 
the decease of his former wife than 
the Discipline advises and contrary 
to our order notwithstanding he was 
precautioned against it." 

I will read a copy of a certificate 
dated August 9, 1764, furnished by 
Mrs. Clement Nye Swift, a certificate 
of her ancestors. 

"Whereas, Stephen Hathaway, son 
of Jethro Hathaway and Hannah, his 
wife, of Dartmouth, in the county of 
Bristol, in th© province o,f the Mas- 
sachusetts Bay, in New England; an<l 
Abigail Smith, a daughter of Hum- 
phry Smith and Mary, his deceased 
wife, of Dartmouth, in the County ard 
Province aforesaid, Having Declared 
their "ntentions of taking each other 
in Marriage, before Several Monthly 
Meetings, of the people called Quak- 
ers, in Dartmouth, According to the 
Good Order Used among them, 
"Whose Proceedings Therein, after a 
Deliberate Consideration thereof, with 
Regard to the Righteous Law of God 
and Example of His People Recorded 
in the Scriptures of Truth; in that 
case were allowed by the said meet- 

They appearing clear of all others 
and having the Consent of Parenls 
and others concerned. Now these are 
to certify all whom it may Consern?. 
that for the full accomplishing of 
their said intentions this Ninth day 
of the Eighth month, called August, 
and in the year of our Lord, One 
Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty- 
four, then the said Stephen Hatha- 
way and Abigail Smith appeared in 

a Publick Assembly of the aforesaid 
People met together in the Publick 
Meeting House in Dartmouth, and in 
solemn manner, he the said Stephen 
Hathaway taking the said Abigail 
Smith by the hand did openly declare 
as foUoweth: 

Friends, I desire you to be my 
witnesses, that I take this my friend 
Abigail Smith to be my wife. Prom- 
ising with the Lord's assistance to 
be her loving husband till death shi-A' 
separate us': Or words to that ef- 
fect: and then in the said Assemb'y 
the said Abigail Smith did in Like 
manner Declare as follows this: 
Friends, I desire you to be my wit- 
nesses, that I take this my friend 
Stephen Hathaway to be my husband, 
Promising with the Lord's assistance 
to be to him a loving wife until 
Death shall separate us. Or words 
to that effect. 

Then the said Stephen Hathaway 
and Abigail Smith, as a further con- 
firmation thereof then and there in 
these Presents set their Hands, she 
according to the custom of marriage 
Assuming her Husband' name. 

Stephen Hathaway. 

Abigail Hathaway. 

and we whose names are hereunto 
subscribed, being present at the sol- 
emnizing of the said Marriage and 
Subscriptions as Witnesses, have here- 
unto Subscribed our names this day 
and year above Written. 

John Russell Humphry Smith 

Thomas Smith Peleg Smith 

Robert Willis Henry Smith 

Joseph Tucker Benjamin Smith 

Deborah Russell Samuel Smith 
Elizabeth Gidley William Anthony 
Prince Allen Phebe Tucker 

Benjamin Rowland Deborah Wilbur 
Christopher Slocum^lice Smith 
Antiphas Hathaway Mary Rowland 
Daniel Russell Rebeckah Slocum 

Thomas Briggs Alice Anthony 

Joseph Russell Penellope Rowland 

Jim Davis Rebecali Smith 

Hephzibah Davis Susanne West 
Clark Hathaway Hephzibah Hussey 
George Smith Ann Coffin 

Mary Tucker 

Unlike the rest of the world, the 
Friends long held tenaciously to th© 
old custom of keeping the bride and 
bridegroom throughout the whole day, 
which is oae of great social enjoy- 

The chief feature of the entertain- 
ment was a fine repast, which was 
prolonged with many a sober jest 
and quaint rejoinder. 

One of the "jests" has coine down 
to us. A prim old Quaker spinster 
one day attended the marriage of her 
grand-nephew, a young person wha 
had in the course of his twenty-one 
years received much needed disci- 

pline at her hands. The old lady was 
at her best on this festive occasion, 
and at a pause in the breakfast her 
young relati^'e looked over at her 
with a beguiling smile. 

Tell us why thee never married, 
Aunt Patience, he said teasingly? 

That is isoon told, William, said 
the old Quakeress, calmly. It was 
because I was not so easily pleased 
as thy wnfe. 

After the marriage feast, a walk on 
a sideway may be the programme of 
the day. Wherever the party goes, 
the overseers must follow and note 
well that all present "do take care at 
the houses or places where they go — 
that all behave with becoming sobrie- 

At the next monthly meeting, the 
committee must give report and if 
unfavorable the first dutj' of the meet- 
ing will be to instruct the overseers 
to secure an expression of "sincere 
repentance of such transgressions, 
manifested by a conduct circumspect 
and consistent with out religious pro- 

If the trangressors are refractory, 
their cases are again reported to the 
monthly meeting, which may then 
disown them. 

To one outside the fellowship of 
Quakerisms, it is the most simple 
and natural thing in the world, that 
two people mutually pleased with one 
another should enter into the closest 
and tenderest relations of life. 

Only those within the fellowship 
could comprehend the opposition 
with which the step would be regard- 
ed by family, friend and meeting, if 
a Quaker youth should desire to mar- 
ry out of the meeting, or the consulta- 
tions, concern, the absolute distress 
that had to be gone through with. 

When it becomes known that such 
a marriage is contemplated, it is re- 
ported to the monthly meeting, and 
in accordance with the rules, mem- 
bers of the ministry and oversight 
are appointed to visit the parents and 
make an inquiry "If an infirmity of 
purpose has led them to sanction 
such a disgraceful departure of the 
rules, as to permit a birthright mem- 
ber to make an unholy alliance — a 
disorderly marriage? 

A long sitting follows this question 
— composed of long silence and fre- 
quent quotations from the Scriptures, 
which deal with the prophetical de- 
nunciations of the chosen people for 
making alliances with the heathen 

If the purpose of the visit of the 
overseers was not accomplished, the 
meeting after hearing the report, ap- 
points two or more persons to visit 
and deal with the "delinquent." 

This grave and official visitation 
was conducted with much gentleness 
and love, but was none the less diead- 
ed and formidable. 

After the usual silence, and per- 
haps a prayer, a motherly voice 
might commence her pleading with: 
"Beloved, I have not hitherto found 
thee charged with levity, nor setting 
up thy own will in opposition to the 
witness within. I hope thou hast in- 
quired there." 

If after all the prayers and persu- 
asions, the youth persisted in the 
worldly companionship, the case 
would be again duly reported and 
recorded at the next Monthly Meet- 
ing with all the details of the visit. 

If marriage follows with a "world- 
ling" and no repentant word is se- 
cured by a second appointed visit, 
the youth is disowned. 

The Acoaxet Monthly Meeting 
records furnish this account of a dis- 
"1800, 7mo. 19th. 

We are informed by Acoaxet Pre- 
parative Meeting that N — S — has 
much neglected the attendance of 
Religious Meetings and gone into 
many of the vain modes and fashions 
of the times in his apparel, for which 
he has been repeatedly labored with 
by the Overseers. He also has kept 
company on account of marriage 
with a woman not a member of our 
society and has married the same out 
of the unity of Friends notwithstand- 
ing his being precautioned before 

After considering thereon, and 
thinking there has been sufficient 
labor bestowed, we therefore deny 
unity with him as a Member of our 
Religious Society until he condemns 
his misconduct to the satisfaction of 

The Women's Meeting concurs 
with us herein. 

We app>''int Lovel Tripp and Wm. 
Gifford, son of William, to inform him 
of his being disowned and draft a 
testimony of his denial and bring to 
next Monthly Meeting." 

The same records furnish a copy of 
a Denial: 

"Whereas, J — F — , who had a 
birthright and his education among 
Friends, hath so far disregarded our 
advice as to Neglect the due atten- 
dance of Religious Meetings and gone 
into some of the vain fashions of the 
world and also kept company with an 
married a woman out of the unity of 
Friends; altho he was labored with 
an precautioned, but our advice hath 
not had its desired effect: Therefore, 
for the clearing of the truth, we do 
disown the said J — F — from being 
any longer a member of our society, 


until he shall condemn the above 
transgressions to Friends' satisfaction. 
Given forth at our Monthly Meeting, 
held at Acoaxet the 13th of the 3rd 
mo., 1802. 

Signed in and on behalf of our 
above said meeting, 

by John Mosher, Clerk." 

One alternative remained to the 
"delinquents." They might of their 
own free will resign their member- 
ship, in which case there would be 
the same appointments, visits, con- 
demnations, records and publicity. 

Some Monthly Meetings at one time 
were so rigorous that parents were 
required to disinherit their children 
who had made worldly or "disorderly 
marriages," and not receive them in- 
to their homes, nor be familiar with 

In the enforcement of the Disci- 
pline, the Nantucket Quakers ex- 
ceeded in severity all meetings in 
New England. Although the island 
settlers had sought to escape from 
the restrictive interference of the 
Winthrops and Endicott, yet they re- 
tained many of the characteristics of 
the people of Massachusetts Bay. 

In Dartmouth, the situation was 
not homogeneous. It was composed 
of persons who were liberal at the 
start. The Tucker family caine from 
Milton; the Kirbys, Aliens, Giffords, 
Wings, came from Cape Cod; while the 
great majority that constituted the 
Dartmouth Meeting, had been resi- 
dents of Rhode Island, the refuge for 
every form of liberal and eccentric 

From this it naturally followed that 
the Discipline among the Dartmouth 

Quakers was much less rigorous than 
at Nantucket. While firm in essen- 
tials, they overlooked trivial short- 
comings, and hence their records dis- 
close a much smaller number of dis- 
ownments for minor offences. 

When the crisis of 1845 came, and 
the Yearly Meeting stood at the part- 
ing of the ways, one section under 
the lead of the Nantucket Meeting' 
urging the acceptance of the Puritan 
views and methods, it was the power 
and influence of the New Bedford 
Quarterly and Rhode Island meetings 
that swung the New England Yearly 
Meeting toward the more liberal di- 

In spite of the liberal tendencies of 
the New England Yearly Meeting, the 
regulations concerning marriage re- 
mained nearly the same down to 

A committee of the Five Year 
Meeting of 1897 prepared a new Dis- 
cipline, which has been accepted by 
eleven out of the thirteen Yearly 

In the last edition of the Discipline, 
the rules concerning marriage are 
very simple. 

The public bethrothal is omitted; 
also disownment for marriage with a 

The Overseers still listen to rea- 
sonable objections concerning a pro- 
posed marriage, and the committee of 
four reports to the Monthly Meeting 
concerning the ceremony. 

The Discipline advises carefully to 
observe the Daws of the State. 

In these days of home-making and, 
alas! home-breaking, the wise super- 
vision of marriage by a Quaker 
Monthly Meeting would be an im- 
portant public benefaction. 



No. 35 

The Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Meeting held in the 
lecture hall of the New Bedford Public Library, on June 12, 



[Note — "The Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the 
Society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each, on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 





Ninth Annual Meeting 

The ninth annual meeting- of the 
Old Dartmouth Historical Society was 
held in the lecture room of the Free 
Public Library. 

Officers elected: 

The officers elected are as follows: 

President — Edmund Wood. 

Vice Presidents — George H. Tripp, 
Henry B. Worth. 

Treasurer — William A.. Mackie. 

Secretary — ^Villiam A. Wing. 

Directors for Three Years — Mrs. 
Annie A. Swift, Mrs. Clara L. Brough- 
ton, Abbott P. Smith. 

President Wood addressed the meet- 

Tonight occurs the ninth annual 
meeting of the old Dartmouth His- 
torical society, and we greet our 
members in a new place. It 
is a fitting place to hold a 
meeting of a society dedicated among 
other things to the preservation of 
the monuments of the past. This 
building has much local history 
woven into its structure. It was built 
with money which the city or town 
received. And it was a worthj' struc- 
ture of a dignified architecture — and 
deserving to be called the City hall. 

How much of New Bedford's note- 
worthy history has centred about this 
building! To a historian the golden 
age of any community seems to be 
found in the early times when all the 
citizens could gather together yearly 
in one place and counsel together for 
the public good, and appropriate 
money prudently and judiciously. 

Here too have l^een held the in- 
numerable mass meetings of our 
citizens when they responded to some 
sudden call, and together determined 
on the proper action for the common 

When the time came when thijS 
old City hall was no longer sufficient 
for municipal purposes it was de- 
stroyed. In all the criticism of the 
recent exploits of our city fathers in 
the time of public buildings we have 
none of this one act — the handling of 
this historic monument. It has been 
treated reverently, and much good 
taste it has been allowed to suit the 

requirements of the new service which 
it is to bestow on the community. It 
is a dignified and worthy home for 
our Free Public Library, and building 
and library stands among the fore- 
most of such institutions in the state 
and the nation. 

This room has been wisely given 
to the varied movements for the edu- 
cation of the people, and there is 
commendable liberality in the way in 
which the trustees are handling it. 

The Old Dartmouth Historical so- 
ciety is glad to meet in it as one of 
the movements of this comunity con- 
nected with education and research 
and profitable public discussion. 

When the Old Dartmouth Histori- 
cal society first thought of locating 
at its present quarters on Water 
street, there were many who thought 
there were drawbacks in its inaccessi- 
bility for meetings. They called it 
pretty far down town. Still some 
of us are not willing to admit that it 
is not, all things considered an ideal 
place for the rooms and the historical 
collection. The place is still redolent 
of the odor of the past; the view from 
the windows is in sympathy with the 
relics inside; the ships and the 
wharves and the oil casks are visible 
and the old buildings have witnessed 
the doings of those early times. How 
curious it would seem to those 
workers of 75 years ago to hear that 
for mere convenience we had re- 
solved to hold a ineeting way back 
on what was beinning to be known 
as Cheapside. This place would cer- 
tainly not be any handier to the ma- 
jority of our citizens. There is an- 
other point to be considered in rela- 
tion to our present location on Water 
street. It will never be so inacces- 
sible as it is just at present. As the 
city grows all the members will be 
further and further removed, and it 
will be necessarj^ to take the trolley 
cars or other newer means of con- 
veyance to get into the centre of the 
city and then Water street may be 
about as convenient as Cheapside. 
No, I for one, do not think we have 
made any mistake in our permanent 

Report of the Directors 



Another twelfth month has passed 
in the history of this society. A year 
older and, we trust, wiser — but we 
are still very young, comparatively, 
beside some of the other historical 
societies of Massachusetts; such birth- 
years as 1790, 1797, ISll, 1822. 1824, 
make our own 1903 seem rather in- 
fantile. So we may take hope that 
when we have reached their advanced 
years we may have like honors, dig- 
nity and wealth, surely according to 
our deserts. 

This society will ever hold 
In Memoriain 

Sarah C. Anthony. 
Standish Bourne. 
Lydia L. Bryant. 
Emma. C. Cornell. 
Mary S. Cummings. 
William B. Fisher. 
Rebecca M. Frothingham. 
John L. Gibbs. 
"Frances B. Greene. 
Isake H. Gifford. 

Albert W. Holmes. 
Lucy James. 
Sarah D. Ottiwell. 
Anna C. Phinney. 
Gardner T. Sanford. 
Mary B. Sanford. 
Charles F. Shaw. 
Susan S. Snow. 
Humphrey F. Swift. 
William N. Sw^ift. 
Edmund Taber. 
Elizabeth R. Wing. 
Walter P. Winsor. 
Adelaide F. Wood. 

The death of Edmund Taber, our 
senior member, removes from our 
midst a charming gentleman of the 
old school. Old only in years, the re- 
lation of his valued reminiscence and 
his interest in the aims of this or- 
ganization are pleasant memories. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Wm. A. Wing, Secretary. 

Report of the Treasurer 



Annual report of William A. 
Mackie, treasurer of the Old Dart- 
mouth Historical society, from March 
31, 1911 to June 12, 1912. 


Balance, March 31, 1911 $235.03 

Membership and Dues, 550.00 

Lyceum Fund (Merchants Nat'l 

Bank), 27.00 

Lyceum Fund (Mechanics Nat'l 

Bank), 180.00 

Lyceum Fund (N. B 5c Sav- 
ings Bank). 255.51 
Lvceum Fund (N. B. Inst, for 

Savings). 3S9.12 

Life Membership Fund (N. B. 

Inst, for Savings), 166.03 

Legacy Est. C. A. M. Taber, 150.00 

Rebate of Taxi 48.30 








Respectfully submitted, 
Wm. A. Mackie, Treasurer. 

Report of the Museum Section 



In presenting the 8th annual report 
of the museum section we have to 
confess to a year of inactivicy on the 
part of the committee. In November 
Roy C. Andrews gave a lecture un- 
der our auspices describing his wan- 
derings in the South Seas and the 
Orient, but other than this nothing 
in this line has been attempted. 

Tho friends of the society, how- 
ever, have not been idle, and it is 
gratifying to be able to report that 
many important additions to the mu- 
seuin have been made, some as gifts, 
others as loans. The annual meeting 
is the time when the society makes 
public acknowledgment of these ac- 
quisitions and we take this opportu- 
nitj' to extend our thanks to all con- 
tributors. While it is impossible to 
enumerate all of them we desire 
to make mention of the more import- 
ant gifts received during the year. 

Historically, one of the most in- 
teresting is a kneeling stool used at 
the first Methodist meetings in New 
Bedford. At the foot of Mill street, 
which took its name from a windmill 
standing at the top of the hill 
there still stands a plain, old, two- 
storied house. The house was built 
by George East during the Revolu- 
tion and was afterwards known as 
East's Tavern. It became a great cen- 
tre for ministers, and as there were 
at that time no churches, religious 
services were often held there. On the 
eastern slope of (he roof of the house 
is a scuttle and here, it is said, Mrs. 
East, a wonfian noted for her piety, 
used to screecii and shout to the good 
people across the river to announce 
a meeting. In 1795 Jesse Lee preach- 
ed in this house, the first Methodist 
sermon ever listened to in New Bed- 
ford. The landing on the old stair- 
way where he stood remained un- 
changed within, but the praying 
stone upon which he knelt has found 
a home in the rooms of the society. 
It is a plain old piece of work, guilt- 
less of paint and absolutely without 
ornamentation, made apparently by 
rather unskiled hands with rather 
crude tools, and it is now somewhat 
shaky from age. A brass tablet, suit- 
ably inscribed, has been affixed to it 
by its donor, Mary East Coggeshall, a 
great grand-daughter of George East. 

Mrs. Clement Nye Swift, whose inter- 
est in the society never flags, and 
who has always been untiring in her 
devotion to the work, has given, many other things, the Men's 
High Seat from the old Friends' 
Meeting House built at Acushnet 
about 1740. This, too, is a very val- 

uable acquisition from a historical 

Abbot P. Smith is greatly interested 
in the ancient household furnishings 
of the homes of old Dartmouth, and 
one of his many valued donations is 
a folding bed of unusual pattern 
from the Handy house at Hix's 
Bridge. This house which has lately 
come into the possession of Mr. 
Smith was built in 1714 (almost 200 
years ago) by George Cardman. From 
him it descended to his daughter, the 
wife of William White. About 100 
years ago it became the property of 
the Handy family and it is still known 
as the old Dr. Handy house. It is a 
most intert'sting place with big low 
rooms, fine old woodwork, a huge 
fireplace, a brick oven, and a smoke 
chamber for smoking hams. 

The old packet ship New York of 
the Black Ball Line running between 
New York and Liverpool was com- 
manded by Captain Thomas Bennett, 
and a carved mast-sheath of beautiful 
design and workmxanship from thac 
ship has been presented by Captain 
Bennett's grand-daughter, Miss Clara 

An ancient try-pot used about 
1750 on the Fairhaven shore for try- 
ing out blubber from whales brought 
in from shore cruises, is the gift of 
Miss Anna Robinson at the request 
of her mother, Mrs. James Robinson. 

From William W. Crapo we have 
received a set of Benjamin Russell's 
drawings, which have ben previously 
acknowledged; from Charles W. Clif- 
ford, an artistic and interesting medal 
m bronze, and from Frank H. Gifford. 
old account books and log books. 

The following bequests have also 
been received and are gratefully ac- 
knowledged: A pair of brass whale- 
oil lamps bequest of Lydia H. Church; 
a gi'and Chickering piano, the first in 
Fairhaven, brought by Captain Ar- 
thur Cox for his daughter; a por- 
trait of Captain Arthur Cox, both 
bequest of Sarah Cox Anthony; portraits 
of Mr. and Mrs. Hoag, bequest of their 
daughter, Abby Hoag; portrait of 
Captain Caleb Kempton, from his 
son, George Kempton. 

One word in closing. Many in- 
teresting articles have been placed 
in the rooms of the society during 
the year as loans, and although they 
are not mentioned in detail in this 
report, they have ben gladly receiv- 
ed and are fully appreciated." 
Respectfully submitted, 
Annie Seabury Wood, 
Secretary Museum section. 

Report of the Publication Section 



In Old Dartmouth's early days, the 
comparatively few who could write 
rarely took their "pen in hand," save 
on some occasion of import. The 
daily struggle for existence left little 
time for letters — paper was valuable 
and conveyance of news seldom and 
dangecous. Of the few letters that 
the ^ icissitudes of time have pre- 
served for us, there are three of more 
than passing interest. 

The first was written in Dartmouth 
in 1727 by Jabez Delano (son of 
Jonathan) to his brother, Jonathan, 
who had moved to Tolland, Conn., and 
became an ancestor of President U. 
S. Grant: 

Loving Brother — I was moved to 
write to you before now, both within 
myself and frqm mother, but I put 
her off because of the sickness that 
was in my family. 

Our eldest has had a long linger- 
ing illness. I am but poorly, but the 
sickness has been very general in our 
town. Four grown persons died in 
our village, viz.: Jonathan Hathaway, 
Rose Spooner, Jemima Babcock and 
Amos Taber's wife. 

We have indifferent good crops. 
We have had a great drought, which 
lasted from English morning till about 
ye middle of Sept. (The usual farm- 
ers' complaint of the weather!). 

Of an earthquake — A week yes- 
terday, about ten at night, which 
shook both ye land and water, the 
islands and seas at that degree that 
several doors were shook of ye latch 
in our village, and 'tis said that at 
Nantucket ye harthstones grated one 
against another and that Car, ye boat 
builder, run out of his house, got in 
a boat for fear ye island should sink. 

My love to all our friends, fare- 

Your Brother, 


Jabez Delano. 

Whaling correspondence is shown 
as early as 1745-6, in the following 
letter by Philip Taber to his son, 
Tucker Taber, at Dartmouth: 

Sandy Hook, ye 6 of 12 mo., 1745-6. 
Loving Sons — Having this oppor- 
tunity thot proper to rite to you to 
inform you that we are well and that 
Geoi-ge Sisson arrived here last sec- 
ond day and thay are very desirus to 
go off a whaling as soon as possible 
and want j'ou to come as soon as pos- 
sible and to bring a good boat and if 
the can bring som good hands it 
would not be amis. Thomas Akins 
will not haul his boat very soon for 
his sloop is gon to Cape Britton (the 
Louisburg expedition). Our love to 
you and all friends is what offers at 
present from your 

Ever loving father, 

Philip Taber. 

The servant problem was vexatious 
even then, for Thomas Hazard — 
known as "Bedford Tom," the presi- 
dent of the Bedford Bank on the very 
site of our Historical Society — writes 
from New Bedford, July 8, 1803, to 
his brother, Rowland Hazard, Esq., of 
Kingston, R. I.: 

Patience that our father and 
mother brought up has been here about 
10 days. She is so much demented and 
so troublesome in our house that I 
was obliged to apply to the authori- 
ties and have her sent to the work- 
house, where she now is, as we do 
not know in what town in the state 
of Rhode Island she belongs. I shall 
be much obliged by they informing 
me immediately on receipt of this, 
what town has to maintain her so 
that our selectmen may take the right 
steps to get her where she belonga 
and to be clear of the expense and 
trouble of her. 

We are as well as usual, with 
much love to dear mother, thy wife- 
and children, in which we all join. 

Thy affectionate brother, 

Thomas Hazard, Jr. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Wm. A. Wing, Chairman. 

Report of the Photograph Section 



In the year of our Lord 1555, 
there was born near Bedford, Eng- 
land, one Lewis Latham. He was 
gentlj' bred and trained in the art of 
falconry, becoming sergeant falconier 
to King Charles I. In those days an 
office of importance and distinction. 
It was his brother, Seymour Latham, 
who wrote the authority on that art, 
'Latham's Falconry.' 

In 1655 at the ripe age of 100 
years 'Lewis Lathame Gent was 
buried,' according to the parish reg- 

His daughter, Frances married 
respectively Lord Weston William 
Dungan, Jeremiah Clarke, William 
Vaughan, and came eventually to live 
in Newport, in Rhode Island, bring- 
ing among her household goods a por- 
trait of her father painted in his ad- 
vanced years. This portrait bears in 
one corner the Latham arms and is 
today the property of descendants, the 
heirs of Mr. Elkins, whose daughter 
it was said might become allied with 
the Royal House of Italy. 

Walter Clarke, the grandson of 
Lewis Latham, inherited his mother's 
propensity for marrying frequently. 
His wives were: Content Greenman, 
Hannah Scott (an aunt of Mary 
(Holder) Slocum, Freeborn Williams 
(a daughter of Roger Williams) and 
Sarah Prior. Descendants came 
eventually to Old Dartmouth and one 
married an early owner of the How- 
land farm at Round Hills, and so 
Lewis Latham became an ancestor 
of many old Dartmouth folk. 

We have lately acquired an inter- 
esting photograph from this ancient 
portrait for our photograph room. 
So bringing us of the present here in 
New Bedford in New England back 
into the past to that Court Fal- 
coner, who saw in his one hundred 
years of life so many historic happen- 
ings, Lewis Latham, Esq., of old Bed- 
ford in old England.' 

Respectfully submitted, 

Wm. A. Wing, Chairman. 

George H. Tripp paid a tribute to 
what the Old Dartmouth society had 
accomplished. "Either of its three 
objects," he declared, "would be an 
excuse for its existence. There is the 
collection, which is on exhibition at 
the rooms of the society. Then 
there is the publication of the so- 
ciety, the thirty odd numbers of which 
now contain an immense amount of 
valuable material. We use them a 
great deal in the library, and the so- 

ciety ought to take a great deal of 
pride in them. 

Another work that is hardly rec- 
ognized is the monumental work done 
by Mr. Worth, in preparing an index 
of the local papers, which involved 
looking over the files of nearly a 
hundred years, and gives almost a 
complete chronological history of New 
Bedford. It was a labor of love by 
one man, and is worthy of a great 
deal of honor." 



No. 36 

The Proceedings of the Thirty-sixth Quarterly Meeting of the 
Old Dartmouth Historical Society; being their annual outing, 
and held in Westport, Massachusetts, 12 September, 1912. 


By Henry B. Worth 

[Note. — The " Old Dartmouth Historical Society Sketches" will be published 
bj the Society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each, on application 
to the Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 



Thirty -sixth Quarterly Meeting 

The Old Dartmouth Historical so- 
ciety held its annual outing and 3 6th 
quarterly meeting yesterday at the old 
Handy house at Hix Bridge. The trip 
was made in automobiles, about 30 
machines leaving the public li- 
brary building at 11 a. m., and 
passing through Smith Mills, Westport 
Factory, and down to the old Potter 
house, which was built in 16 7 7, a 
short distance north of Central Vil- 
lage. From the Potter house the trip 
continued south to the road leading 
to Hix's Bridge and then to the Handy 
house, arriving there by 12 30 o'clock. 
This old house was built in 1714 and 
has been recently restored to its origi- 
nal condition by the present owner, 
Alibott P. Smith. Here the party had 

William W. Crape, Henry H. Crape, 
Edmund Weed, Mary E. Bradford, Mrs. 
Thomas A. Tripp, Anna L.. Tripp, Clara 
Bennett, Henry B. Worth, Sarah B. 
Worth, George R. Stetson. Mrs. George 
R. Stetson, Willard N. Lane, Mrs. M. J. 
Leary, George S. Taber, Mary B. Leon- 
ard, Roland A. Leonard, Clara A. Read, 
Mrs. William H. Wood, William H. 
Wood, Calista H. Parker, Elizabeth 
Watson, Caroline H. Hiler, Ella H. 
Read, Sarah H. Taber, Susan G. W. 
Jones. Carolyne S. .Jones, Francis T. 
Hammond, Edward B. Smith, Mrs. Ed- 
ward B. Smith, Mrs. Clifford Baylies, 
Mary W. Taber. Mrs. Sarah Kelley, 
Caroline S. Akin, Mrs. Mayhew R. 
Hitch, Mayhew R. Hitch, Alice How- 
land Tripp, Gertie E. Bridgham, George 
L. Habitch, Mrs. George L. Habitch, 
George R. Phillips, George R. Wood, 
Mrs. William C. Phillips, William C. 
Hawes, Mrs. William C. Hawes, Josiah 
Hunt, Mrs. J. Hunt, Natalie Hunt, Mrs. 
J. L. Martin, Bertha A. C. Mosher, Wil- 
liam E. Hatch, Arthur R. Brown, Eliza- 
beth P. Swift, Elmore P. Haskins, Wil- 
liam A, Wing, Arthur A. Jones, David 
L. Parker, William H. Reynard, George 
H. Tripp, Mrs. Susan H. Kempton, Anna 
C. Ricketson, Cornelia G. Winslew, Cyn- 

thia D. Jenney, Margaret Earle Wood, 
Priscilla Howland, Francis Rodman, 
Arthur G. Grinnell, Mr. and Mrs. 
Llewellyn Howland, Carline Stone, 
Thomas S. Hathaway, Sarah Tappan 
Coe, William Stevenson, Gertrude S. 
Perry, Mrs. Abby L. Prichard, Mrs. Mae 
A. Braley, Tliomas E. Braley, Fred D. 
Stetson, Caroline W. Hathawav, Marian 
Parker, Mrs. H. B. Worth, Caroline E. 
Hicks, Dr. Wm. J. Nickerson, Charles 
A. Tuell, Elvira M. Tuell, Carrie E. 
Davis (Mrs. L. B.), Helen H. Davis, 
Margaret E. Gibbs, Frank Denby, Mrs. 
Andrew G. Paine, Mary B. Paine, Eliza- 
beth N. Swift, Gertrude W. Baxter, 
Mary Kempton Taber, Sallv Goraon 
Taber, Mrs. William N. Church, Ka- 
therine L. Swift, Mrs. C. A. Cook, Mr. 
and Mrs. William Huston, Mrs. Fred S. 
Potter, George E. Briggs, l<'rancis J. 
Denby, Mr. and Mrs. Frank W. Wildes, 
Thomas B. Wildes, Caroline L. Aid- 
rich, Gertrude W. Mann, Hilda P. 
Tripp, Benjamin C. Tripp, Cortez Allen. 
Elizabeth S. Macomber, Edward L. 
Macomber, Herbert S. Peirce, Grace B. 
Peirce, Jennie C. Peirce, Mrs. H. C. 
Washburn, Albert A. Ruddock, H. C. 
Washburn, Mrs. S. J. Tripp, Beni. W. 
Allen, George E. Tripp, Edna M. Tripp, 
Etta J. Allen, George J. Allen, Charles 
T. Heron, George E. Handy, Milton E. 
Borden, Roland Cornell, George Hart, A. 
F. Brownell, John Mosher, A. P. Smith, 
A. Westby, D. W. Baker. 

President Wood addressed the meet- 

Members and friends of the Old 
Dartmouth Historical Society and 
Citizens of Westport: 

Today we celebrate our society's 
outing within the limits of that por- 
tion of Old Dartmouth which was 
set off as the town of Westport. It is 
ritting that we should do this for we 
have already held similar meetings 
in Acushnet and Fairhaven and North 
Dartmouth and South Dartmouth, 
and several meetings in New Bed- 

Right here the interrupting small 
boy mighi cry out: 'What's the mat- 
ter with Westport?' We can all say 
that Westport is all right. There is 
absolutely nothing the matter with 
Yiev — unless we might say that she 
suffers from being too far away from 
New Bedford and too near to Fall 
River. That is too great a strain to 
put upon the virtue of any town. 
But Westport had within her that 
which always was against provincial- 
ism and village narrowness — and that 
is a sea port and commercial relations 
with a wider world — and they began 
'yery early to develop it. 

"Before the neighboring towns on 
the north and west had really learned 
that the earth was round, the inhabi- 
tp.nts of Westport had followed New 
Bedford down to the sea in ships and 
had begun at Westport Point to regu- 
larly fit out some good sized whalerfc-. 
Here began John Avery Parker in a 
-moderate way which developed stead- 
ily after he had moved to New Bed- 
ford until he became one of the mer- 
chant princes of his time; ani 
Henry Wilcox laid by a fortune which 
\he land would never have yielded. 
"The town of Westport has always 
prospered. It has been a place of 
beautiful farms of a thrifty, prosper- 
ous people. It has furnished from 
its hardy seamen some of the most 
adventerous and successful whalfng 
captains that that fearless industry 
has ever known. In its earlier days 
it had a social life, centering in 
Adamsville of some aristocratic pre- 
tensions; it had an unusually prosper- 
ous settlement of Quakers at Central 
Village, and in the industrious, ex- 
emplary and successful life of Paul 
Cuffe, it had the earliest exhibition of 
the capacity and executive ability of 
the American Negro which waited 
long for an equal exponent in Fred- 
erick Douglass and Booker T. Wash- 

"We are glad to meet in Westport 
today. We are interested in its wel- 
fare and many of its inhabitants are 
interested in our society. We have 
several members from Westport, and 
one, Edward L. Macomber, is a di- 

We have come over today for two 
purposes; to see the historic houses 
which have survived 200 years, and 
£,econdly to learn something about 
ihem and of the Old Dartmouth 
mothers who dwelt ifi them, and of 
the life which went on 200 years ago 
and dignified this same picture of 
house and landscape and beautiful 
expanse of river. 

We have several full fledged, well 
developed historians in New Bedford, 
who are attached to our society, and 
we generally carry them with us 
when we wander forth into the more 
remote parts of our old township. 

The dean of our faculty of history 
is Hon. William W. Crapo, who 
through a long life of studious re- 
search and by many published essays 
and public addresses has illuminated 
the part of his native town. 

We have Henry H. Crapo, who has 
within a week stirred us with a rush- 
ing mighty wind the dry leaves and 
vegetable mould of the genealogical 
camps of eastern New England. I 
shall hope at some future meeting to 
say more of this interesting publica- 
tion which means so much to our 
own society. 

And we have Henry B. Worth, 
who more than any other man has 
shed a steady light upon the ancieni: 
land proprietors and the house of our 
ancestors. Fortified by these three 
experts our society is safe to travel, 
and no citizen of Westport will dare 
to mislead us or take us in by spin- 
ning any visionary yarns for our con- 

Hix's Bridge and the Handy House 



It is of great advantage that this 
meeting should be held in such an his- 
toric centre where are clustered so 
many features of interest, and where 
two centuries ago resided some of the 
leading families of Old Dartmouth, be- 
cause here it is possible to observe the 
landmarks face to face. 

At this point in its course the 
Acoakset river is contracted within 
narrow limits by the hills on either 
side, and here is the most picturesque 
spot in the Indian line of travel be- 
tween the Acushnet and Saconet. 

As early as 1686 there must have 
been transportation across the river, 
because at that date the Handy farm 
was bounded on the south "by a high- 
way," and this would be a meaningless 
public utility unless there were some 
arrangement at the river to reach the 
other side. The highway at the east 
side of the river extended to Appone- 
gansett, and on the north side front- 
ing this river was the homestead of 
Valentine Huddlestonej and across the 
road was the homestead of Samuel 
Cornell, which he obtained from his 
mother, Rebecca. On the west side Ol 
the river the highway in 16 86 extend- 
ed up the steep hill to the road "lead- 
ing to Paquachuck," now known as 
Westport Point; on the sovith side of 
this road was a great tract owned by 
Joseph Coleman of Scituate, and on 
the north side the farm owned by 
Peleg Slocum, which at that date he 
conveyed to William Ricketson, and 
shortly after was purchased by George 
Cadman. and in recent years known 
as the Handy fram. How much before 
that date a ferry was operated, the 
records fail to disclose, but the pres- 
ence of public roads leading to the 
river from each side indicates the ex- 
istence of some method of crossing 
previous to that time. By whom the 
ferry v/as first conducted cannot be 
determined except by inference. When 

the road was laid out on the east side 
in 1707 it began "where the ferry- 
boat now usually lands"; this was be- 
fore Mary Hix engaged in the busi- 
ness, and while it might have been 
operated by either of the farm owners 
there is nothing to suggest that Hud- 
dlestone, Cornell or Coleman was 
concerned in the undertaking. From 
1686 to 1718 the Handy farm was 
owned by George Cadman, the most 
prominent man in the locality; and in 
1710 he conveyed to Mary Hix the 
land on the river front which she used 
as the ferry landing, and where she 
lived. This is some indication that 
when she made the purchase and en- 
gaged in the ferry she continued what 
George Cadman had previously estab- 

For over two centuries the central 
feature of this region was at first the 
ferry, and then the bridge. Joseph 
Hix came fron\ Westport in 1702 and 
purchased a farm at the end of West- 
port Point, where he died in 1709. 
He left a widow, Mary, who was the 
daughter of William Earle. and she at 
once displayed considerable business 
activity. She purchased the lot on the 
west side of the river from George 
Cadman, built a house, and continued 
the ferry across the river. A short 
time later she secured land at the 
Head of Westport, probably with the 
purpose of finally choosing which- 
ever locality provided the best busi- 
ness results. The court records of 
Bristol county indicate that she was 
not unmindful of the requirements of 
Colonial travelers, and so in 1710 and 
subsequent years she obtained a 
license to sell strong drink. She sold 
the land and house at the ferry in 
173 5 to her son, William, and he at 
once took steps to build a bridge, but 
it was not until 1738 that he had com- 
pleted the structure. Then the voters 
of the Head of the River, under the- 

lead of George Lawton, William Sisson 
and others, protested to the general 
court that William Hix, who had the 
privileg-e of a ferry, had built a bridge 
which was a common nuisance be- 
cause it obstructed the passage of 
boats up and down the river, and they 
asked that the nuisance be removed. 
Notice was issued to Hix to show why 
the petition should not be granted. It 
cannot be discovered how far this sub- 
ject became an issue in the town, but 
in 1739 William Hix was elected rep- 
resentative to the general court, and 
again in 1740. a remarkable fact con- 
sidering the lack of interest which the 
members of the Hix family have taken 
in political life. This election gave 
him such an advantage in the bridge 
controversy that the conclusion is 
sound that the townspeople united 
with him against the protesting voters 
at the head of the river. In 1739, in 
response to the notice from the gen- 
eral court, William Hix represented 
that he had built a commodious 
bridge at his own expense, at the most 
convenient place, and that the same 
was of great benefit to the public, and 
asked that the general court would 
confirm and estalalish the same as a 
toll-bridge. They voted to allow him 
to maintain the bridge and to charge 
as toll the same amount as he had 
previously charged for ferriage. In 
1743 he was allowed to double the 
toll rates, because of the cost of the 
building and maintaining the bridge. 

The construction of the bridge was 
probably an important factor in lead- 
ing the Dartmouth voters to remove 
the town house in 17-50 to the Head 
of Apponegansett. And it is significant 
that the objection to this removal 
came from the same men who ob- 
jected to the maintenance of Hix 
bridge. Their self-interest and con- 
venience were apparent in both pro- 

The Hix Bridge farm, including the 
bridge and approaches, and the farm 
on the south side of the road, west 
of the river, had been acquired by 
William Hix, and at his death passed 
to his widow, Anna, and his children, 
and was finally owned by Joseph Gif- 
ford, who had married a daughter. 
The property was purchased in 1804 
by .Tohn Avery Parker, Levi Standish 
and Josiah Brownell; and owned by 
them until 1814, the property was 
offered for sale, and it was then ar- 
ranged that it should be purchased by 
Dr. James H. Handy and Frederick 
Brownell, that the doctor should take 
the deed in his own name; then con- 
vey the bridge and all land east of the 
driftway to Brownell, who should pav 
the sum of $2,800. Brownell took 
charge and repaired the bridge as his 
own, collected toll, paid the taxes, 
built a building on the north side. 

where he conducted a country store, 
and finally in cash and groceries paid 
the doctor the entire price of the 
property; but the latter neglected and 
refused to give any deed. The town 
took the bridge in 1871, abolished the 
toll feature, and made an award of 
.$1,800 to whoever might be the owner. 
This led to legal proceedings between 
Brownell and Dr. Handy's estate, but 
Brownell succeeded in getting the 
money. In 1876 Giles Brownell sold 
to Albert M. Allen the remaining land 
at both ends of the bridge, and it was 
later acquired by Mrs. Betsey F. 
Allen. On the second floor of the store 
building, where Frederick Brownell 
conducted his business for over fifty 
years, was the lodge room of the 
Noquochoke Free Masons, and when 
they erected their own building east 
of the river Mrs. Allen sold the store 
to Daniel J. Sullivan. Adjoining this 
building is the landing laid out by the 
selectmen in 1717. 

The farm on the north side of the 
road, extending from the river to the 
main highway at Central Village, was 
purchased in 1687 by George Cadman, 

who had remc 


Rhode Island. His later homestead, 
comprising over five hundred acres, 
lay along Cadman's Brook, two miles 
north of Hix bridge. He was selected 
to fill many town offices and was a 
wealthy man for that period, and 
owned a Negro slave that he disposed 
of in his will. His only descendant 
was one daughter, Elizabeth, who 
married a William White, whose an- 
cestry has defied all historical re- 
search. Cadman conveyed the north- 
west corner of this farm "where Wil- 
liam White lives" to the Dartmouth 
Monthly Meeting of Friends in 1717, 
and here is the Quaker meeting- 
house. The rest of the farm he de- 
vised to his daughter and her hus- 
band, and after them to their chil- 
dren. In 1794 it was owned by 
Jonathan White, and the east hundred 
acres was that year purchased by Dr. 
Eli Handy of Rochester. At the death 
of the doctor, in 1812, the farm passed 
to his son. James H. Handy, who was 
also a physician of considerable 
celebrity. Industrious in his profes- 
sion, he was nevertheless negligent of 
his own business interests. It is said 
that he never collected any bills and 
never paid any; and his estate w'as 
insolvent. This carelessness involved 
the bridge in the complications already 
described. Yet he was a famous 
country doctor. 

The great house occupied by the 
Handy family reveals the fact that it 
was ijuilt at three different periods. 
William White married Elizabeth 
Cadman about 1714, and went there 
to live, and their house, a pretentious 
mansion for those daj's, was the east 


S-THB W.„™-P;;™ -™-N.S„.HMAN HO.S. 

section of the present structure. The 
framework which has not been con- 
cealed by plastering or wall paper, 
gives unmistakeable evidence of its 
ae-ft. When the central portion is ex- 
amined, where the corner posts 
project into the room only a few 
inches, there is conclusive evidence of 
a construction not far from 1800. This 
portion was probably built by L>t. Eli 
Handy. The west section, in which 
the corner posts are entirely concealed, 
was erected many years later. A gen- 
tleman is now living who states that 
this was built by Dr. James H. Handy, 
that he borrowed the money to pay 
for the same from a sister of George 
Kirbv, and failing to repay the 
amount, the farm was attached and 
bous^ht by Kirby, and was later pur- 
chased by a friend of the Handy 
familv, who, m 1S76, conveyed it to 
Miss Hannah Handy, a sister of the 
doctor, who had paid for it by work 
as a seamstress. She devised the 
property to a son of the doctor, and 
last vear his descendants sold the 
farm, the part west of the driftway, 
with the mansion, to Abbott P. Smith, 
and the east part to Herbert S. Pierce. 
The house chat Mary Hix erected at 
the west end of the bridge about 1710, 
stood on the south side of the road, 
and after the ''Revolutionary war was 
considerably rebuilt. One room of the 
old structure was retained,, but this 
wfis considerably obscured by the ad- 
ditional structure. The house is now 
painted red . Here was the residence 
of the bridge owners until it was pur- 
chased by Albert M. Allen, and here 
for vears bicyle tourists and the Ma- 
sonic brethren appreciated the enter- 
tainment that could be obtained at 
Aunt Betse3''s. 

At the conclusion of the meeting at 
the Handy house, a visit was made 
to the old Ricketson house, which 
was built in 1684, then back through 
Russells Mills to New Bedford. 


Kicketson-Shennan House, Westport. 

This house is located on the west 
side of the road leading from South 
Westport to Horse Neck, about two 
miles south of the South Westport 
Corner and 300 yards east of the 

Tne iand was originally owned by 
JIannah Gaunt, a descendant of the 
Southworth family of Duxbury. In 
1684 she conveyed the same to Wil- 
liam Ricketson, before that time a 

resident of Portsmouth, R. I. Tn 
1682 Mr. Ricketson petitioned the 
town of Portsmouth for leave to 
build a water-mill, and in 1683 he pe- 
titioned to be admitted as a freeman. 
The town records disclose no action 
on either petition. His next appear- 
ance seems to have been in Dart- 
mouth. When all the land to which 
he was entitled had been set off to 
him he owned nearly 500 acres, 
bounded west by the Noquochoke riv- 
er. He died in 1691, leaving three 
sons, Timothy, William and Jonathan, 
and widow Elizabeth, who later mar- 
ried Mathev/ Wing; and from these 
two marriages are descended the 
Ricketsons, and most of the Wings of 
this section. 

This farm remained in the Ricket- 
fcon family until 1796. The por- 
tion containing this house was sold 
u> Thomas Sherman of Rhode Island, 
and in 1904 was owned by Charles 
and Albert C. Shermau of New Bed- 
lord, two of his descendants. 

This house is located on a hill 
which commands a view embracing 
Adamsvills, South Westport, West- 
port Point to the Elizabeth Islands. 
It faces south and end to the ad- 
joining road. The chimney is made 
of stone, and according to the princi- 
ples governing the latest Rhode Is- 
land stone chimney. The chimney 
extends nearly across the house and 
furnished the four rooms each with a 
fire-place. The house throughout has 
heavy summers, bracketed corner- 
posts. The timbers are t.11 of sawed 
pine and handsomely though plainly 
finished. Such a construction clearly 
antedates 17 00. 

In the east chamber the mantel- 
piece and frame about the fire-place 
indicate the finest degree of hand 
Vv'orkmanship, in a day when sand- 
paper was unknown. When Isham 
and Brown visited this house in De- 
cember, 1903, it was their opinion 
that it was constructed about 1684. 

The last ocupant left it before 
18 7 7, and as the dust worm has prac- 
tically destroyed its frame in the 
first story, it cannot remain standing 
many years longer. 

William Ricketson's business was 
that of a miller, and he operated a 
saw mill on the brook southeast from 
his homestead, where possibly the 
timbers of this house were prepared 
and finished. 

Waite-Potter House, Westport. 

Thi3 house is located about half a 
mile north of Central Village, between 
Main and River roads, and was owned 
in 1904 by Perry G. Potter. It can be 
seen from the main road except in the 
summer season, when hid by the foli- 
age of the trees. 

The original farm in which this 
house Is located was situated on both 
sides of the main road, and was con- 
veyed in 1661 by William Earle to 
Thomas Waite; comprised over 200 
acres and was bounded east by the 
Noquochoke river. It remained in the 
Waite family until 1728, when Ben- 
jamin Waite sold the part between the 
river and the main road to Robert 
Kirby, whose descendants continued in 
possession until 1837, when Ichabod 
Kirby conveyed to Restcome Potter 
his homestead farm of 50 acres on 
which this house is located. When 
Restcome Potter died the farm de- 
scended to his son, the present owner. 
In the deed to Mr. Potter a small 
piece of land was reserved which had 
been the Kirby burial lot for over a 
hundred years, the rough stones in 
the lot being marked, one R. K. a 
second, the same, and another I. K. 
The Waite burial lot is in that section 
of the farm lying on the west side of 
the road. 

This house is the oldest in old Dart- 
mouth, if not in southern Massachu- 
setts. It will be noticed that the 
chiinney is constructed in two sections, 
the right of which is stone and the 
left brick. The explanation handed 
down among the owners is that when 
the west addition was built, just previ- 
ous to the Revolutionary War, it was 
found the old stone chimney would 
not furnish a fireplace for the addi- 
tion without another flue, and hence 
the west section of brick was built 
against the old stone chimney. The 
ancient section of the house is that 
which appears in the picture as the 
centre. It is built according to the 
methods in vogue in Rhode Island 
following 1650. 

It is a one-story dwelling of one 
room 18 feet square, with a fireplace, 
as shown in the photograph, and a low 
attic under the roof. The west end of 
the ancient house was a stone wall 
tapering with the roof and ending in 
the chimney stack. The fireplace is 
wide, but low, and a century after the 
house was built was linea with brick. 
The chimney jamb is a beam 18 inches 
square. The summer was placed par- 
allel to the chimney and was sup- 
ported by posts set into the walls of 
the house. The corner posts are 
bracketed and braced. The mortar in 
the chimney is of composition made 
from seashells. The entire construc- 
tion indicates that the building was 
erected before 1700. 

Messrs. Isham and Brown of Provi- 
dence, experts in Colonial house 
building, examined this structure in 
1903, and suggested 1660 as the prob- 
able date of construction, but the tra- 
dition ex'sts that it was built in the 
1677, which was the year following the 
King Philip war, as the Indians are 
supposed to have destroyed all dwell- 

ings in this section. The tradition is 
probably correct, its last occupant, a 
Kirby, left it to move into the west 
addition, and the old portion has 
since been used as a pigsty, henroost 
and general farm purposes. 

Restcome Potter lived in the west 
part two years after he purchased the 
farm, and then built the present 

Dr. Handy House, Westport. 

This house is located a short dis- 
tance west of the Hix Bridge, at the 
northwest corner of the road leading 
to Westport Point and in 1904 was 
owned by a descendant of the famous 
Dr. Handy. 

The land was originally set off to 
George Cadman and that farm ex- 
tended from the river west and in- 
cluded the Quaker meeting house, 
cemetery, and town house at Central 

George Cadman's only child wos 
Elizabeth, who married William 
White of Rochester. Thus the name 
Cadman in this branch of the family 
disappeared from Dartmouth, but the 
numerous descendants by the name 
of White in that part of New England 
all trace their lineage back to Eliza- 
beth Cadman. They were married 
about 1714, and this property was 
placed at their disposal by George 
Cadman, and in his will, probated m 
1729, was devised to William White 
and wife. 

1794. Jonathan White to Humph- 
rey White. 

1794. Humphrey White to Ell 
Handy, physician, and the house has 
remained in the Handy family since 
that date. 

From an exterior view the impres- 
sion inight be gained that this house 
was originally built for a tavern or 
a road house, but the observer would 
scarcely discover that it was con- 
structed at the separate dates cover- 
ing 120 years. This clearly appears 
by an interior examination. 

The two front doors divide the 
house into three sections, forming 
SIX rooms on the lower floor and the 
same number on the second. Begin- 
ning at the east end it will be ob- 
served that here is a heavy summer 
parallel to the end of the house ex- 
tending through both rooms, and in 
the second story the heavy corner- 
posts are bracketed. In the middle 
section there is no summer and the 
part of the corner-posts projecting in- 
to the room somewhat insignificant; 
while in the west rooms the summer 
and corner-posts have entirely dis- 
appeared. In the east part a signi- 
licant feature is the bracing from cor- 
ner-post to girder, as shown in the 
interior. In the east part the edges 
of all timbers chamfered. 


The evidence is satisfactory to indi- 
cate tiiat the east end was the origin- 
al house; but it was built in 1714 to 
3 6; that it had a west chimney whicii 
provided a flre-place for all the ' 
rooms; that about 1730 the owner de- 
sired to build a west addition, and 
that it became necessary to remove 

the original chimney and build the 
present east chimney; that Dr. Handy 
in 1821 built the west third of the 

The house was purchased by Abbott 
P. Smith in 1911 and he has done 
much to restore the house to its orig- 
inal condition. H. B. W. 




No. 37 

Being the proceedings of the Thirty-Seventh Meeting of the 
Old Dartmouth Historical Society, held in their buildino', 
Water Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts, on January 29, 1913. 


By Ida A. McAfee. 

[Note.— The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the 
Society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the 
Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.] 

sf 27 




Old Dartmouth Historical Society 



JANUARY 29, 1913 

On Henry Howland Crapo's " The 

Comeoverers " and Tablet to 

Ralph Earle 



President Edmund VVood in opening 
the meeting said: 

Since our last meeting there has 
been published in this community a, 
notable book, "Certain Comeoverers," 
in two volumes, by Henry Howland 
Crapo. This publication is worthy of 
prominent notice in the proceedings 
of this society, not only because it 
was written by one of our members 
who has already contribured for js a 
paper, but also because it treats so 
largely of the people who settled and 
established the township of Old Dart- 

The history of this locality is in- 
teresting only as it becomes a history 
of the people who settled here, and 
lived and loved and strove and who 
transmitted through worthy descend- 
ants so goodly a neritage. But it isn't 
often that a learned book on 
genealogy and ballasted heavily with 
ancestral diagrams with inlinite ra.mi- 
fications, ran be considered an ani- 
mated history of a people or place. 
Such a work is generally a history of 
dead names, dry, yes, and mouldy, 
too. But here we have a publication 
about the dead, — long, long dead, but 
which is very much alive. The char- 
acters in it have lived, and been 
actuated by the same ambitions and 
passions which we recognize abotit us 
daily. Some led saintly lives or vio- 
lently proclaimed their faith and suf- 
fered dire persecution and torture for 
righteousness's sake; and there were 
others who sinned easily and fell far 
short of the glory of Gc'd. 

The story begins with the landing 
of the Pilgrims, close by us at Ply- 
mouth, and extends up into Newbtiry- 
port and down thro' Old Da.rtmoulh 
into Rhode Island. All this land was 
new. It was an unbroken wilderness 
and the first instinct and duty was to 
break and subdue it, and for a few 

generations this undertaking was 
enough to occupy about all their 
energy. Much of the life which was 
lived by these old worthies in this 
very locality was a hcmely life, but 
they were creatures of fltsh and 
blood. With a few notable exceptions 
they were quite ordinary men and 
women with a very limited sphere of 
action. The family was in a wa5' 
patriarchal and few broke awaj' 
from the ancestral home. Far from 
their farms and from their usual 
wealth of children 

"Their sober wishes never learned to 

Along the cool sequestered vale of 

They kept the noiseless tenor of their 


They tilled the land and got 
more than a living off of it. and we 
know the obstinate ungrateful char- 
acter of most of that land now and it 
couldn't have been much better then. 
Sloctim's Neck yields more hens and 
eggs and less iri crops every year. 

In the description of this locality 
we recognize an old friend in the 
story of Eliezer Slocum and his wife 
the Lady Elephel. The material in 
this chapter wa.s first presented in a 
paper read before this society a few 
years ago. Ar.d a most delightful 
chapter it is. Barneys Joy and 
Slocum's Neck are here brought into 
sudden touch but into violent con- 
trast with the eld world and its older 

Here is all the material for a most 
delightful novel and that too without 
a violent departure from the rather 
legendary story. Can v.'e not indulge 
in the hope that the author, having 
already contributed so much pleasure 
by his artistic recital of the rather 
meagre historical facts, may not 
some day give his imagination free 
rein and round out the story into a 

historical romance almost medieval in 
its rug-gedness and truly artistic in 
its harmonious grouping of most 
violent contrasts. 

Taking this publication as a whole 
we are impressed with its compre- 
hensiveness and the wide range of 
the author's research. The balancing 
of conflicting authorities, which are 
more or less traditions, is calmly 
.iudicial. But the whole is pervaded 
by a playful fancy working with a 
light and delicate touch. Never be- 
fore it seems to us, has a scholarly 
frenealogT^' been handled vivaciously. 
The tmbject and the abundant pedi- 
grees lead us to expect a Dr. Dryas- 

dust but lo! the style is, as it were, 
moistened with sparkling champagne. 

The Old Dartmouth Historical so- 
ciety is gratifit-d by its connection 
with so charming a book. 

President Wood announced that 
^<ince the last meeting an additional 
tablet had been added to the collec- 
tion already in possession of the so- 
ciety, this latest tablet being inscribed 
"Ralph Earle, Leader of Settlers, 
Died ]716." It was from a descend- 
ant, Margaret F.arle Wood. Secretary 
Wing read a brief sketch from Mr. 
Crapo's book of the Ralph Earle for 
whom the tablet was erected, and his 

New Bedford One Hundred and Twenty 

Years Ago, as Glimpsed through 

The Medley 


One hundred and twenty years 
ago takes us back to 1793. That 
was ten years later than the 
signing of the treaty of peace 
following the Colonies' War for 
Independence. It was the year of the 
closing scenes of the French Revolu- 
tion, and the year that saw the 
French Republic established. Ii wa9 
the year when I^ouis XVI lost his 
head and Marie Antoinette sulTered 
a similar fate. It was a year that 
saw France and England embroiled 
in war, and pretty much all of Eurojje 
out with gun and sword. 

It was in the presidency of George 
Washington. It was when John 
Hancock was governor of Massachu- 
setts, and the year in which he died. 
It was the time when this nation con- 
sisted of fifteen states; when the 
Indian was a very live problem; and 
when the western frontier lay along 
the Ohic. 

The year 1793 was hardly more 
than a quarter of a century after 
the name of Bedford — to be af- 
terwards changed to Newbedford — 
had attached itself to thf little com- 
munity in Dartmouth that for the 
brief years of its existence had been 
content to be known as "the settle- 
ment at the foot of .Joseph Russell's 
homestead." It was the sixth year 
after Newbedford had been set apart 
from the town c^f Dartraouth, as a, 
separate township, inclu ling within 
itself the villages of Acushnet and 

It was twelve years earlier than the 
time when William A. Wall made his 
familiar picture of the .section that 
lay betv^^een the water front and what 
is now William and .Second streets, 
and ninf^teen years earlier than when 
the Foi.ircorners picture was put on 
canvas; and as it was fifteen year? 
after the British soldiery had landed 
at Clark's Cove ana .marched up 

around the head of the- river and dis- 
embark'^d at Sconticut Neck, burning 
as it went eleven houses and twenty - 
three shops, the place must have had 
a much sparser look as to buildings 
even than in these pictures. 

It was a time when all Bedford, 
Fairhaven, and Acushnet counted 3313 
people, using the figures of the federal 
census of 1790. 

It WMS a year when lifty-four 
citizens of the town cast a vote for 
gove.-nor and for senators — there was 
a property qualification attached to 
the franchise in that day. 

It was a time when there were two 
mails a week between this town and 

Especially it was the time of New- 
bedford's first newspaper, The Medley 
or Newbedford Marine Journal. 

The time to appreciate a newspaper 
is when it gets to be about one hun- 
dred and twenty years old — when the 
paper is brown and the ink faded and 
the letters worn. Here we are mak- 
ing a special point of this little ragged 
dingy paper, while in its day John 
Spooner, its founder, publisher, editor, 
printer, and everything else, got a 
hearty • rebuke froin a subscriber be- 
cause it did not satisfy his expectations 
of what a newspaper ought to be; and 
when the printer had to coax his sub- 
scribers to come up with the price, in 
cash or rags, junk, country produce 
or whatever they would give. 

To us it is the mirror of the past — a 
good deal blurred and not reflecting 
quite clearly, but giving a glimpse 
here and there of what we want to 
see. From the standpoint of the Old 
Dartmouth Historical society, which 
owns a two-year volume dating 
from the start, — through the favor of 
Misses Anna and Ellen Clifford, — it 
is not so very satisfactory a docu- 
ment. The value of chronicling local 
news had not yet been learned. The 

interest of the future in the past was 
not appreciate<3. 

The Medley printed a great deal 
about the revolution in France and 
the establishment of the French Re- 
public, in which the new republic of 
America was vastly interested; gave 
considerable space to congressional 
and legislative proceedings; printed 
such news from over the seas and 
from other sections of the country as 
came its way in letters to people in 
this town or to their friends in other 
places — as "a letter from an American 
in Dunkirk to his friend in this town, 
received by brig Mary;" as brought 
by word of mouth by travellers or the 
shipmasters, as "a gentleman from 
Philadelphia says;" or as copied from 
other newspapers, — weeks or months 
old, as the case might be. Especially 
it gave literary Newbedford a chance 
to express itself in print on all sorts 
of abstract and philosophical themes, 
and to worry and flurry each other a 
bit, under such signatures as Equitas 
and Agathocles, Philanthropos, Phil- 
ander, and the like: but it seemed to 
take for granted that the people knew 
what was going on about them and 
that what they knew there was no 
reason to put into print. 

A Highfaluting Salutatory. 

It was a highfaluting salutatory 
with which The Medley greeted the 
people of the beginnings of this city 
on November 27th, 1792 — about "the 
establishment of the art of printing in 
this part of our empire," with "here 
an extensive country, situate remote 
from a printing press — its inhabitants 
numerous; but a small part of them 
knowing or being known in the trans- 
tictions of the world, unless they ad- 
vance a large extra sum for their 
knowledge," and its intention to "in- 
struct them in the ways of men at a 
much cheaper rate" — than subscribing 
for an out-of-town paper. 

"A general knowledge of the world 
— of the revolutions of Empires, 
Kingdoms, and States, the political 
transactions of men in public stations 
— the revolutions in commerce — im- 
provement in arts and mechanics — 
philosophical discoveries and mari- 
time observations, are useful to man 
in his journey through life," writes the 
editor, and analyzes a newspaper as 
"a mirror in which is seen Ambition, 
Envy, Revenge, Treachery, Bigotry, 
Pride, Superstition, Joy and Sorrow — 
Passions which constitute the essence 
of man; wherein we may read, view 
ourselves, and, if prudent men, alter 
our deformities; or, at anj' rate, that 
is a source of knowledge and enter- 
tainment for the curious and enquir- 
ing mind," he abruptly concludes. 
"Here the statesman may read the 

fate of nations. — Here the philosopher 
may spread before him a map of man, 
of manners, and of things; and enter- 
tain the mind with an agreeable re- 
past. — Here the honest laborer by his 
social fire, surrounded by his little do- 
mestic republic, may waste his even- 
ings in delightsome relaxation of 
mind — may acquaint himself with sur- 
rounding occurrences, — may bless his 
God and his industry, which have 
placed him in his happy state of in- 
dependence; while, unenvious, he 
reads the agitations of mind which 
distract the peace and blast the fe- 
licity of the 'great ones of the earth.' 

"Here the moral philosopher, the 
friend of man, may communicate to 
his fellow rationals all the benevo- 
lences of his soul in gentle admoni- 
tions and instructive maxims, to in- 
form the ignorant, reform the vicious, 
and encourage virtue and humanity. 

"Here the less serious may amuse 
the fancy with an original bon mot 
— a pithy anecdote and sometimes a 
Parnassian Flight" — evidently New 
Bedford has always had its poet. (But 
in that day, as in this, he did not 
always get his productions printed. 
In a "Notice to Correspondents," 
some time later, two writers were told 
their communications would be print- 
ed next week, but "New Poetic Cor- 
respondents" were recommended "to 
renew their draft at the Fount of Hel- 
icon — they appear to have but just 

These, then, were the colors under 
which The Medley was launched, with, 
the promise that " 'nothing which 
worketh iniquity, or which maketh a 
lie' shall ever have impression here. 
— That here private characters shall 
ever be held sacred. — That the pro- 
duction of enmity, of partiality, and 
of resentment shall never disgrace his 
type:" — a standard that, if adhered 
to, may have been sufficient to ac- 
count for the sale of the paper after 
seven years, to a rival printer who had 
come into the field a year earlier! 

The price wat- to be "nine shillings 
per ar.uum, exclusive of postage; for 
one quarter of a year two shillings 
and three pence, to be paid on the 
delivery of the first paper, in cash 
or rags; the succeeding quarters at 
the expiration thereof." 

The start was made at "John 
Spooner's office near Rotch's wharf." 
Between the third and fourth num.- 
bers there was a gap of two weeks, 
with an apology for the non-appear- 
ance of the paper in the previous 
week. — "the editor has but to re- 
mark that the building he at present 
occupies as a printing house is un- 
finished; which exposes his work to 
the inclemency of the season — and 
rend>^red it inipossible to fulfil his 

-obligation to the public. He expects 
soon to remove to the new building 
lately erected at Fourcorners, where 
he hopes to be so accommodated as to 
issue his paper early on the day of 
each week hereafter." 

For Cash or Rags. 

Directly following this notice ap- 
peared a paragraph, preceded by a 
couple of stars and a dagger, giving 
it a kind of pyrotechnic appearance, 
a sort of hold-up look, "The printer 
will receive of country customers any 
kind of produce or wood, if they 
prefer it to cash. in payment for 
newspapers — or of any farmer who 
wishes to become a customer." 

When he had gotten established in 
the new office at Fourcorners, the 
printer of The Medley returned 
thanks to those who "favored him 
with their custom," offered to fill 
any "commands in the art of print- 
ing" at short notice, thanked those 
who had generously aided in getting 
subscriptions, and announced that 
"Advertisements, Articles of Intelli- 
gence, Essays, &c. would be thank- 
fully received for publication." By 
and by he took the latter part of 
that back — though before this oc- 
curred he apologized, "Cato will 
excuse the non-appearance of his 
valediction addressed to Sydney, 
this three weeks past. It was mis- 
laid." When later "Ignoramus Rus- 
ticus" wrote a column and a half 
attack on "Mr. Curiositas," in a long- 
continued discussion over the use of 
an expression by one that the other . 
could not find in the dictionary and 
that the printer afterwards agreed 
wa.« a typographical error, the editor 
added this note: "Quit! quit! cries 
the Turkey — S<. does the Printer. — 
For where Cards grow to Essays he 
thinkp it time ic quit." 

More than the editor was tired of 
the long communications o^ abstract 
subjects or giving neighborly rubs, for 
a little later "A Subscriber" wrote: 
"Mr. Spooner: 

"I am well assured it was the ex- 
pectation of many of your subscrib- 
ers that your paper would be filled 
with the mo^t interesting intelligence, 
both foreign and domestic, proceed- 
ings of congres:? and state legislature, 
«S:c., &c. In your Medley, No. 16, 
'Quit, quit, cries the Turkey, and so 
cries the Printer:' and so does a num- 
ber of your subscribers; for when 
dull overgrown Cards and dry Essays 
occupy seven-eighths of the Medley 
they think it time to Qviit." 

Following this was an editorial 
reply, in italic and with the index 
sign that indicated the editor at 
work, rebuking the correspondents 
who had contributed "public essays. 

which if comprised in a volume or 
pamphlet would make something of 
a handsome addition to a library," 
and asking for reports of political 
occuT-rences, re-r.-arkabie events, new 
discoveries, and infonnation of in- 
teresf In the agricultural and com- 
mercial world. 

When The Medley had completed 
its third quarter there appeared as 
the first item on the first page a re- 
minder that payments became due 
at the expiration of each quarter. 
"The sum individually," said the print- 
er, "is small; but put together in one 
mass would enable the Printer to 
cancel the Papermaker's bill, pur- 
chase Rags, and sometimes a quarter 
of Mutton." 

A little later, in October, "the Hus- 
bandman who wishes to read the 
News of the Day & would prefer ex- 
changing the product of his Labor with 
the Printer for his Medley rather than 
paying Cash," was informed that 
"good Winter Apples, Corn, Rye, But- 
ter, Cheese, or almost any kind of 
vegetable" would be received "at cur- 
rent Market Price, if brot within three 
weeks." Evidently the larder was 
running low. 

"Two Coppers on the Pound." 

The offer of not only The Medley 
but of merchants as well to exchange 
goods for rags, usually specifically 
stated as "clean cotton and linen 
rags," actually signified a real demand 
for rags for paper making. In the 
very first issue of The Medley an ar- 
ticle was quoted from the Windhani 
Phenix in which the opinion was ex- 
pressed that "the person who saves 
one pound of rags for the manufac- 
ture of paper does more real good to 
the community than he who conquers 
a city." Lest this might seem strong 
language, "Consider," continues the 
writer, "that without this saving, 
science must fall and learning must 
drop to the ground, and everything 
which the civilized man holds dear 
must cease to exist." He reports that 
his own family has sold to the printer 
in the course of a year fifty-five 
pounds of rags, "paying for the pur- 
chase of a Bible for one of the chil- 
dren: but even without the price," he 
would have had them save the val- 
uable commodity, for he rates the per- 
son who persists in destroying rags, 
"after being convinced of their util- 
ity," as culpable, and deserving to be 
looked upon with as much contempt 
"as a betrayer of his country — and 
an enemy to every useful science." 

Some considerable time after this, 
appeared a whimsical communication 
with a feminine touch, asking what 
encouragement there was in "two 
coppers on the pound to a young lady 
for stooping two hundred times to 


pick up threds, or for fouling her 
hands with a dish-clout or house 
cloth. — Fie on the man who thinks 
that Moll and Betty would undertake 
such small business for such small 
gains. — We have bibles enough in the 
house already, and Pa buys us our 
caps, curtains, &c." 

Early Business Interests. 
From the advertisements some idea 
is gained of the business interests of 
the place, just as the ship news tells 
of the sailings and arrivals of the 
whalers and the ships in the mer- 
chant service — and they serve success- 
fully to people the town, with their 
names and suggestions of activity, 
their show of enterprise, and proof 
of competition. 

Besides the whaling and the ship- 
ping, probably ship building was the 
next big business, but there is refer- 
ence to only one launching during the 
year. On October IS an inch and a 
half notice stated that "Tomorrow 
morning between the hours of 7 and 
8, the new and beautiful ship Barck- 
ley, burthen 270 tons, will be launched 
from the shipyard of Colonel George 
Claghorn. The satisfaction of view- 
ing this token of our increasing com- 
merce will, we doubt not, induce 
many to watch the first beams of the 
Rising Sun" — with a liberal use of 
italics, small caps and capitals. 
Ljauncliino "The Barckley." 
The next day the story of the 
launching was told, under the head- 
ing — and headings were rare — "Ship 

"The new and beautiful ship, Barck- 
ley, went off from her stocks Satur- 
day last, without any intervening ac- 
cident to soil the happiness of a large 
and respectable crowd of spectators. 
Fifteen discharges of cannon, and re- 
peated huzzas, announced her hull 
floating on the ellement we hope may 
buoy her with safety these many, 
many years. Her beauty is acknowl- 
edged by able judges to vie with any 
ship of her size that floats on the At- 
lantic. And while we wish she may 
long continue the pride of Newbed- 
ford, we hope her success in aiding 
the commercial interest of her owners 
may be felt among every class of our 

This George Claghorn was the same 
who built the frigate Constitution at 
the Charlestown navy yard. His ship 
yard here was a little south of the 
present foot of North street. Besides 
shipbuilder, he was colonel of the 
local military company, as is revealed 
by a notice to the members. 

William Rotch, Jun.'s Shop. 
William Jun. was the Rotch man 
in the field ac this time, but his only 
appearances in The Medley were to 

advertise his stock in trade at his 
shop — the location of which is not 
gi\'en, since it must have been known 
to all Newbedford. It was in the 
Rotch building that stood at the head 
of Rotch's wharf, a little north of 
what is now Centre street. It was in 
this building that The Medley had its 

In the first issue of the paper Mr. 
Rotch "respectfully informs his cus- 
tomers and friends" that he has for 
sale wholesale and retail "sail Cloth 
of an excellent quality, — No. 2, 3, 4, 
5, 6, and 8; coarse and fine 5-4th 
Sheeting; window Glass, of sizes given 
ranging from 6x8 to 10x12; large and 
small Looking Glasses, and Plates un- 
framed: Glass Tumblers, Twine and 
Cordage; Flour and Shipbreads; Pork 
and Salt; Philadelphia and Russia Bar 
Iron, excellent for Cart Tire; Paints 
of several kinds; Sheathing Papei', 
Wrapping Paper, «fec." 

Later he adds to his stock: "Sugar, 
Prime Pork. French Duck, Tar, Tur- 
pentine, Salt, Cordage, Bolt Rope, 
Spermaceti Candles, Strained Sperma- 
ceti Oil, and Grindstones." 

In this same advertisement space he 
shows his thrift by making known 
his own need of "a sober industrious 
young farmer who, if he is well 
recommended, will find good encour- 
agement." Still later he advertises 
as having for sale, "a few pieces best 
superfine Broadcloth, Cambrics and 
French Lutestring, Silk Stockings 
and Sewing Silk, and a few Silver 
Watches," continuing the old list down 
through spermaceti oil, bar iron, and 
bolt rope, as though there were noth- 
ing incongruous in the list! 

Books "Bedford" Read. 

John Spooner was apparently al- 
ready a book seller before he became 
the publisher of The Medley. In the 
second number he announced that he 
had "just received from Newlondon 
and for sale, the following books, 
viz:" and here is the complete collec- 
tion announced — note how it differs 
from the list of works offered in the 
"literary" advertisements of today: 
"Bibles, Testaments, Barlow's revision 
of Watt's Psalm and Hymns, Gard- 
ner's Life, Vicar of Wakefield, Web- 
ster's Institute, 1st, 2d, and 3d parts, 
Fenning's Spelling-Book, Dilworth's 
ditto. Prompter, Little Reader's 
Assistant, Occom's Hymns, CEconomy 
of Human Life, Medical Cases and 
Observations; Seamen's Journals, 
Writingbooks, Pocket Memorandums 
with pencils, ditto ditto without (thus 
the list runs on without break under 
that first imposing head of Books), 
Primers. Children's Books, Geo- 
graphical Cards, Dutch Quills, Wafers, 
•fee. &c." Then follows a list of pam- 
phlets and a group of titles headed 

Chapman's Books, evidently referring 
to a series of publications under the 
publisher's name, in which appear 
Fanny or the Happy Repentance, 
Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Ad- 
ventures of Gil Bias, History of Queen 
Elizabeth, Young Gentlemen and La- 
dies Entertaining Friend, Choice Col- 
lection of Songs," and Almanacks for 
1793. The advertisement concluded 
with this stirring appeal: "Ladies, 
Gentlemen, and Merchants" — I hope 
the merchants of today will not 
dislike the differentiation — "are in- 
vited to call and furnish them.selves 
and children with books: as they may 
here obtain them as cheap as in Bos- 
ton." Obviously the shopping in Bos- 
ton habit that our merchants com- 
plain of was early established! 

Six months later John Spooner 
advertised ant Iher assortment of 
books, including- "Hume's History of 
England, 8 volumes; Robertford's 
ditto of America, 3 ditto; Moore s 
travels, 2 ditto: The Spectator, 8 
ditto; Buchan's Domestic Medicine; 
Morse's Geography of America, 
Christian Economy, The Whole Duty 
of Woman, Advice to Prevent Poverty, 
Fothergill's Sermons, and school and 
children's books," — any of which were 
to be given "in exchange for cash, 
clean cotton or cotton and linen, or 
linen rags of any color, old sail cloth, 
or junk." 

A Versatile Gentleman. 

Caleb Greene respectfully informed 
his friends and the public in general 
that he "now carries on and pro- 
poses to enlarge the bookbinding 
business in its several branches," and 
that he had for sale account books 
and hooks ruled to any pattern, and 
that he could "in a short time supply 
shopkeepers with spelling books by 
the dozen of tht- most approved au- 
thors." and th?-t "from his long ex- 
perience in books he thinks he may 
lay claim to so much knowledge as 
that the public may depend on being 
well supplied, and at as low rate as 
in Boston." Not only were reading 
and spelling encouraged, but writing 
as well, in a note after the date line — 
"N. B. Black and red ink of the best 

Later on Mr. Greene offered to take 
orders for Bibles — in an early 1794 
issue: "Any persons who would wish 
to supply themselves with large and 
complete Bible."^ — with or without 
apocrypha and concordance, or Bibles 
of any size, are desired to leave their 
names at Caleb Greene's shop; where 
they may view the sizes and in a few 
weeks have their supply — No part of 
the pay will be asked till they ara 

But he did not conline his attention 
to book binding and selling. An adver- 

tisement of Isaac Wo(>d of Fairh.aven 
probfibly suggested to him a new 
branch of business possible to this side 
of the river. Tw(.' weeks before 
Christmas this Wood announced 
having iust received and for sale "at 
his .^hop near the ?neeting house, 
Fairhaven, a fresh assortment of 
European and West Indian Goods, 
suited to the present season," and 
also, further, — showing the range of 
the merchants of the day, — "family 
medicines, which he can recommend 
as genuine, — and for sale, by retail, 
as cheap as can be procured in 
Boston — together with Phials, &;c." 
Incidentally it may be stated that Mr. 
Wood also offered for sale "Flower 
by the small quantity. Crockery, 
Tobacco and Snuff, Shoemakers' 
Tools, Books and Paper and Almanacs 
— with the announcement that in pay- 
ment would be received cash, cotton, 
rags, sailcloth, pork «fc beef, and any 
kind of country produce." Would it 
do to wonder how many heirloom 
treasures in this city owed their 
family possession to pork and rags! 

At the Sign of the Mortar. 

The announcement of family medi- 
cines evidently spurred Caleb Greene's 
enterprise, for in the next issue he 
proved that Newbedford did not 
need to go to the rival village across 
the river for its medicines: "From 
the encouragement given oy a number 
of the inhabitants of Bedford and its 
vicinity," he had "furnished hin:self 
with and just opened a good assort- 
ment of fresh Drugs and Medicines, 
at the Sign of the Mortar, in Water - 
street, among which are" — and in a 
half column advertisement he named 
them frankly, opium and castor oii 
among the rest: a goodly list, includ- 
ing a variety of patent medicines, and 
also "an excellent electuary for 
cleansing and preserving the teeth, 
with brushes for ditto." And the ad- 
vertisement concluded, "As said 
medicines vare deemed genuine, they 
are confidently ottered to the public." 
Apparently Mr. Greene did not want 
his original business sight of. for 
after a dash rule he continued: "Said 
Greene carries on the bookbinding 
business and has for sale geographie.% 
arithmetics, spellers, dictionaries, 
blank books, &c., wnich customers 
are desired to call and see." 

Oil Skin Hat Covers. 

The full extent of his business 
versatility is not told, hoAvever, until 
is quoted his announcement of "neat 
oilcloth covers for hatfe and women'.3 
bonnets — on silk or linen, of various 
colours — made at a short notice and 
reasonable price — by said Greene." 


Though umbrellas had been in- 
troduced into the colonies in the latter 
half of the eig-hleenth century, there 
is no likelihood thit they were 
common in the village of Bedford 
in 1793, since their manufacture did 
not begin in this country for some 
six or eight years later than this. 

Mr. Greene was certainly a useful 
citizen, for he is credited also with 
keeping the marine journal and the 
weather record. 

Compasses and Hardware. 

There were advertisements of Jo- 
seph Clement "(late from London), 
Compass Maker and Iron Plate- 
Worker, doing business on Union 
street, a few rods west from 
Mr. Isaac Rowland's store; Joseph 
Ricketson, Cutlery and Hardware 
Dealer, lately removed "to the new 
building erected at Fourcorners, and 
fronting on Prospect and North 
streets" — otherwise at the northeast 
corner of the present Union and Wa- 
ter streets: Gamaliel Bryant, Jun., 
"removed from the shop he formerly 
work'd in, to the Fourcorners, No. 4, 
fronting North street,' where he had 
for sale a general assortment of tin- 

Ileauction for Cash. 

Reuben Jenne, Blacksmith, of "Ox- 
ford, Newbedford," offered inducement 
for cash payment — objecting "to the 
present mode of long credit and a re- 
mote payday." He informed the pub- 
lic that he proposed "to keep con- 
stantly for sale a handsome variety of 
edgetools, together with plow shares, 
hoes, &c.," and that "all other 
branches of his Profession will be at- 
tended to and the work executed with 
neatness and dispatch;" and he con- 
cluded the notice with the statement 
that "the articles received in payment 
are too numerous to be mentioned 
here: but whoever will pay in cash 
he will make to them a reduction of 
16 2-3 per cent;" and he adds per- 
suasively that "he flatters himself that 
all who favor him with their custom 
will nnd his terms much better suited 
to benefit the public than the present 
mode of long credit and a remote pay 

>Ie(licine Boxes for Seamen. 

Thomas Hersey of Fairhaven, "ready 
to wait upon all disposed to employ 
him, in the medical line," annouriced 
" — Medicine boxes, for the use of sea- 
men, with suitable directions, pre- 
pared at the shortest notice." 
Cloth Dressed to Taste. 

Westport, which had been set off 
from Dartmouth at the same time 
that Newbedford had, and that now 
had a population of 2466, — within 
thirty-three as many as the town of 

Dartmouth, — was heard from in the 
notice of John Chace, who, bringing 
to mind the hand loom, respectfully 
informed the public that he carried 
on the Clothier's Business, in its va- 
rious branches, at his works at the 
head of Acoaxet River, in Westport, 
and that "Any person wishing to have 
his cloth dressed to his taste, by ap- 
plying to him, or forwarding it by 
the post from Newbedford to New- 
port, or leaving it at Smith's Mills, 
shall have their directions attended 
to, with the greatest punctuality and 
care, and returned by the first con- 
veyance after dressed." 

Joseph and Blihu Russell of Dart- 
mouth later offered "to dress and 
colour cloth at their new works at 
Russells mills;" but this came early 
in the next year. 

Occasionally someone advertised for 
supplies, as "Wanted — Ash timber, for 
which good pay will be made on de- 
livery," "untaned sheep and lambskin, 
for which a generous price will be 
given," "a number of bushels of 
leached ashes," etc. 

Sailcloth was announced as being 
"fabricated" in Nantucket. 

Dispersing- Benjamin Russell's Goods. 

How Benjaniin Russell's household 
goods found their way into Newbed- 
foj'd homes is suggested in this "Sale 
at Auction!" notice, offering a choice 
and valuable parcel of household 
goods and furniture, being part of the 
estate of Benjamin Russell, Esq., late 
of Dartmouth, consisting of several 
good Feather Beds and Furniture, 
Mahogany Desk, High Case of Draw- 
ers, and other Cabinet Work; Silver 
Plate. China Ware, Pewter, Stone and 
other hard Ware; a number of Chairs 
great and small, both of Mahogany 
and other sorts — with many other 
kinds of Household Goods not here 

WTialing and The Privateers. 

If Ihe impreso'on pre'-ails that ships 
were coming from and starting on 
whaling voyages continually in those 
early days, let the illusion be dis- 
pelled, so far as this period at least 
is concerned. 

Whaling at this time was just be- 
ginnirg to look up after the crushing 
blow it had received in the Revolu- 
tionary war. First there had been 
the unrighteous British legislation 
curtailing American fishing and trad- 
ing rights, and then there had been 
the barbarous enactment giving the 
right of search of American vessels 
and impressment of American sailors 
into the British rervice or the British 
whalfcfishery, bringing whaling pretty 
much to a standstill. Besides, there 
had been the destruction of seventy 


vessels in the harbor of Newbedford 
at the time of the British raid in 
September of 1778, — and for several 
years nothing was done toward the 
restoration of the industry. One ship 
is known to nave gone out from 
Dartmouth in 1785 and another in 
1787. A little at a time the business 
picked up. In 1793 the first whaler 
to enter the Pacific sailed from ^:ew- 
bedford. It was one of George Clag- 
horn's ship — though The Medley does 
not etem to have reported the sail- 
ing. By the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century the Old Dartmouth 
whaling and merchant fleet numbered 
about fifty vessels. Generally speak- 
ing, 1793 was one of the years of low 
ebb in the whaling industry. 

A count of the ships reported in 
The Medley as arriving during the 
last half of that year showed nine 
Newbedford whalers to have come 
into Fort, bringing cargoes of oil 
rangiiig from eighty barrels to thir- 
teen hundred barrels, and totalling 
^130 barrels, whale and sperm totalled 
In together; whiie in that same period, 
ther.* arrived at Nantucket twenty- 
two whalers, bringing 13,290 barrels, 
in lots ranging from fifty barrels to 
thirteen hundred — one vessel coming 
in clean; and they weie reported to 
have come from Brazil, from Wool- 
wich Bay off the coast of Africa, and 
from thfc neighborhood of the West 
Indies and Bahamas. A few whalers be- 
longing in Dunkirk put in here at 
that time, fearing to encounter the 
French during the hostilities with 
Great Britain. 

That it was not always necessary to 
go to the west coast of Africa, but 
that whales were sometimes caught 
nearer at hand, ;s shown in the item 
that "Perry Davis, master of a small 
fishing vessel, brot into Westport, 25 
July, a whale that made 17 bbls. oil — 
out three days." 

There were tryworks in that day, in 
this town at about the foot of what 
is now Centre street and probably at 
Smoking Rocks, where the Potomska 
Mills now stand; at Oxford, now Pov- 
erty Point, in Fairhaven; and at Dart- 
mouth and Westport. 

The ciose touch into vvhich New- 
bedford vessels — whalers and mer- 
chantmen — came with the war diffi- 
culties of the day is revealed in sev- 
eral items about their encounters 
with privateers. Captain Benjamin 
Rowland of brig Lucretia. arrived in 
seventeen days from Capefrancois. re- 
ports that he "was brot to seven times 
on his passage by different priva- 
teers — five English, one Spanish, and 
one French — ordered on board the 
Spanish and French; the others 
boarded him in their own boats — all 
treated him with great civility." 

Piekaroons Out-Pickaroon'd. 

But all ships did not have so good 
fortune as this. Here are a couple of 
real adventures, under the head of 
"Piekaroons Out-Pickaroon'd, which 
show the dangers of the seas at the 
time and also suggest something of 
the stuff some at least of the Newbed- 
ford whaling masters were made of: 

The captain of the Brig Polly, Levi 
Jenne, tells his own story for The 
Medley, following the item that hia 
ship had arrived here from St. Marks, 
with a prizemaster and three men, put 
on board by a Newprovidence pick- 

Capt. Jenne submitted first to the 
examination of his papers by two 
strangers; when they had left, a 
strange ship came alongside and he 
was hailed in "a brutish manner," 
in a strange language, and six men 
came aboard "in a hostile manner, 
with naked cutlasses and pistols in 
their hand," and he had to sail un- 
der their orders on the course to 
Cuba — but owing to a small wind hia 
ship did not get far. He and his peo- 
ple were kept in constant fear of los- 
ing their lives. Then they ran into 
a fleet of nine sail, three of them 
privateers, and after the commodore 
had spent the whole day "buckling 
from vessel to vessel," a prizemaster 
was put aboard the Polly, one other 
white man and two Negroes, "the 
three last mentioned not worth one 
farthing, only to encumber us as lum- 
ber upon deck," and she sailed toward 
Newprovidence, in the Bahamas; then 
his men refused to sail her except for 
Newbedford, the prizemaster con- 
fessed himself helpless, and Capt. 
Jenne and the Polly came along in due 
time into their home harbor, with 
the four strangers aboard. 

Capt. Weston Howland, of the sloop 
Nancy, who left St. Marks in company 
with Capt. Jenne, confirmed the lat- 
ter's story, and also bore witness "to 
similar treatment by four prizemen, 
which he brot in with him" — in the 
following statement: — 

"The 23d of July, the sloop Nancy 
of Newbedford, left St. Marks, bound 
for Philadelphia. The 24th ult. was 
boarded by Capt. Mackever, from Ja- 
maica; whose Officers came on board 
and examined my papers; after which 
he ordered me to proceed on my way. 
Ill 20 minutes after they left me, I 
was boarded by the sloop John, Capt. 
Edward Shearman, from Newprovi- 
dence; who, in a very hostile manner 
pushed me into the boat — carried me 
on board his vessel, — where I re- 
mained as prisoner 14 hours. — At the 
expiration of that time he hove out 
his boat — ordered me into her — got in 
himself and came on board my vessel. 


— He then ordered me to open my 
chest, which I complied with. — He 
then took every article out — yet made 
no discovery of the property he pre- 
tended to be after. — After this, the 
2 5th, he left me, and returned to his 
own vessel — -I was soon revisited by a 
prizemaster and four inen, who 
ordered me to steer for Newprovi- 
dence. — The 2'Jth, being clear of the 
Keys, I resumed the command, and 
directed my course as I thot proper — 
Newbedford appearing most consist- 
ent, I shaped my course thither: — 
Here I arrived 12th August — prize- 
master and all well. 

"Weston Howland." 
Then The Medley commented: 
"Such is the treatment received 
from Newprovidence privateers — and 
this not the first instance — Capt. 
Jenne informs that numbers of 
Americans have been taken in the 
same manner and sent into that place, 
without daring even to resist. Then 
they have been tried upon suspicion of 
having French property on board — if 
acquited the captors do not release 
them but take them to Inagua and 
there plunder them of everything 
valuable. — This the privateers say 
would have been the fate of Captain 
Jenne and Capt. Howland, could they 
have gotten them into this den of 
thieves. — Among this banditti appears 
the famed Lord Dunmore, governor of 
Newprovidence. — Such insults, Ameri- 
cans, ought surely not to pass unno- 

"The above mentioned vessels were 
laden with Sugar, Coffee and Cottjjn." 
Though it may seem to have no con- 
nection here, there Is interest in the 
notice soon after of the marriage of 
Capt. Weston Howland to Miss Nabby 
Hathawav — won, possibly, by the cap- 
tain's cool daring. 

Later on. similar news came in an 
extract of a letter from the master 
of a vessed in Newprovidence, to a 
merchant in this town, which said: 
"There are fifty sail of American ves- 
sels here now; 36 of which were brot 
down by the Privateers: some of 
them, have been here ninety days, 
with their Coffee hogsheads bursting 
in thr-ir holds, and their Cotton sacks 
roting and droping oft from their 

Making- Sport of a Whaler. 
How a whaling master fared at the 
hand.<: of the preyors upon ships at 
this time is told with spirit by Capt. 
Gardner, in the account of an ex- 
perience' off St. Helena in September 
of 1793 The Medley &ays: "Arrived, 
Ship Edward, M^caiah Gardner, from 
a Delago Bav whalecruise. 1500 bbls. 
•whai*^ oil — Capt. Gardner, not having 

heard of a war, ran in for St. 
Helena to get information. — Sent his 
Mate and five hands on shore to make 
inquiry; who were detained by the 
Governor; and an American ship's 
boat, the Seahorse, Albert Hussey, 
Master, belonging to Capeann, was 
sent off with the following letter, to 
decoy him into port; 

" 'France is at war with all the 
world — the American Ambassador's 
head has been cut off at Paris — you 
have no port en earth to put into 
where you will not be taken — here 
you shall have generous terms, all 
your private property, and that of 
the crew, shall remain your own, the 
same as if you had never been taken: 
I have consulted the Lieut. Governor, 
and we have agreed to give you these 
terms — In witness whereof, I hereun- 
to sign, and give it under my hand, 
and tne Seal of the Plonorable United 
East India com.pany. 

" 'Robert Brooke, 
" 'Governor and Commander in Chief.' 

"Ir answer to which, Capt. Gard- 
ner sent word, — -'He thanked him for 
his ,9-enerous offer — but rather doubt- 
ed the truth of France being at war 
with all the world' — Should not there- 
fore throw him<^-.elf on their mercy — 
and continued to stand off and on, 
hoping his boa*, would return. — But 
next day by the same boat received 
a second letter, as follows: — 

" 'I again inform, you that France 
is a<: War with all the world — That 
the American States are in alliance 
with Great Britain — I therefore now 
treat with you as an American sub- 
ject — and demand of you to enter 
our port immediately — Which if you 
refu«"e to comnly with, I shall be 
obliged to make a representation of 
the c.ise to the British Secretary of 
State and to General Washington. — 
Afte" promising this, if you continue 
obstinate, and are taken on any 
foreign coast, you must undergo all 
the severity of treatment by the laws 
of Nations in such cases made and 

"Captain Gar.'ner doubting nnuch 
this British Governor's candor, only 
replied to the last letter — 'I shall not 
enter your port, but snail shape my 
cour.-ie for Amf-rica.' — which he ac- 
cordingly did — leaving his Mate and 
boat'« crew at Ihe Island — and here 
safelv arrived." 

Trag-etlies of Whaling. 

The tragedies in the whaling indus- 
try and the homes left mourning 
through its vicissitudes, find sugges- 
tion in an extract of a letter from 
Capt. Benjamin Crowninshield to his 
friend at Salem, dated Port Roval, 
Sept. 29, 1793, to the effect that "Tv,-o 


American vessels have been deprived 
of every officer on board by the fever — 
a brig from Newbedford, the super- 
cargo, captain, mate and boy all died 
in the course of seven days and the 
vessel left destitute": — with this in- 
formation follov.-ed up in the next Issue 
by the further statement "that the 
briff mentioned proved to be the 
Xancy, owned by Messrs. Benjamin 
Church, and Nathaniel Pope, and com- 
manded by Capt. Caleb Church," and 
a letter that had been received from 
one of the hands on board by his 
parents, in which was written, under 
date of Martinico, St. Pierres, Oct. 6, 

"After a short fit of sickness, I once 
more have a chance to send you a few 
lines. We have all been sick with the 
West India fever — and have recovered; 
except those whom God hath pleased 
to take away by the disease. — First 
our Mate and Boy — then the super- 
cargo and Captain left this world, they 
got one Fishers Skiper, an American 
Counsellor" — and here is inserted an 
asterisk and The Medley comments be- 
low, "We think the writer has in this 
instance mistook 'Fishers Skiper, 
American Counsellor' for Fulivar Skip- 
with, American Consul"- — to get a 
Captain, and more hands, if wanted, 
and send the vessel to Alexandria, as 
fast as possible." 

After other details, the writer says 
"it was the captain's will before he 
died T should act in the room of the 
mate," and he says, "I shall do the 
best I can to get the vessel home to 
the owners as soon as possible." 
Lost at Sea. 

How William. Howland. master of 
the sloop Sally, was lost at sea, is told 
in an item headed merely "Ship 

"Sloop Sally. William Howland, 
master, left this port 23d Jan. on a 
whale cruise, returned last Wednes- 
day. 14t.h March, off Hispanola, the 
Captain, Oliver Slocum. (mate), Solo- 
mon Slocum, "William Church, Joseph 
Wilcox, James Jan, and Jack Williams, 
(two last blacks), went on shore to 
procure stores for said vessel, then 
lying off and on at the mouth of 
Aricot harbor: late in the evening at- 
tempted to return on board (as say 
the inhabitants of the place), when 
a squall of wind arising drove the 
sloop to sea — and the boat in the gale 
with all the men above-named was 
lost — no discovery could be made for 
eight days except some pieces of a 
boat, which all agree were part of the 
boat the master went on shore in." 
Stag^e and Post Roiilcss. 

In sp'te of the merchants' deter- 
-minatlon to serve customers as well 

as they could buy in Boston, on the 
fifth of July a new inducement was 
offered to visit that town. Under the 
head "Newbedford and Boston New 
Line of Stages!" (and the picture of 
a £-.tage coach drawn by two spans of 
horses — a wood cut, and done by an 
artis<- with no great sense of per- 
spective), "William Henshaw respect- 
fully informs his friends & the pub- 
lis in general thai for the convenience 
and accommodation of those Ladies 
and Gentlemen who may wish a 
pleasant tour to or from Boston, he 
has furnished himself with an ele- 
gant carriage and good horses, tc run 
once a week. 

"He will start from Newbedford 
every Tuesday morning at 5 o'clock 
and arrive in Boston the evening of 
the same day. — On his return he will 
leave Boston. every Friday morning at 
5 o'clock, and arrive in Bedford the 
evening of the same day" — a four 
days' trip. 

"The price tor each passenger will 
be three pence per miie — 20 lb. bag- 
gage gratis — 150 lbs. weight equal to 
a passenger. 

"Ladies and Gentlemen who take 
passage in his stage may depend on 
the greatest care — and the most par- 
ticular attention on hi.'? part that his 
horses are good, and well suited to an 
expeditious and pleasant tour. 

"Business entru-sted co him to trans- 
act shall be performed wiih the great- 
est punctuality; and every encour- 
agement in the undertaking most 
gratefully acknowledged. 

"He would rnention, as some per- 
son might otherwise consider Uiree 
pence per mile for passengers a large 
fee, that it is caused by the present 
exorbitant price demanded for hay 
and provender. — So soon as the price 
of these articles shall fall, the Public 
may rest assured the price per mile 
shall be reduced." 

Mr. Henshaw was not left long 
without a competitor in the Boston 
stage business. Three months and a 
half later Abraham Russell adver- 
tised a conveyance to Taunton and 
Boston, to run through the winter 
season once a week, the round trip 
to be completed between Monday 
morning and Friday evening. As to 
the price he made no apology — 'the 
price will be three pence per mile 
for each passenger, which is the same 
rate as other stages, and will appear 
moderate to any who will consider 
the high price of provender." 

Mr. Russell also announced at the 
same time his zntenUon to start a 
stage route to Bostc-n through the 
town of Bridgewater — a round trip in 
four days, afterwards increased to five 


days, to give soiree daylight hours in 
Bostcn. The price of a passenger on 
this line was io be fifteen shillings 
from Newbedford to Boston. 

William Henshaw announced about 
this time that his service would con- 
tinue through the winter, and that 
he should put on covered sleighs as 
soon as the snow prevented the run- 
ning of his carriage. 

Earlier than these latest notices 
there had been announcement that 
"the mail is taken from the postof- 
fice every Sunday and Wednesday 
evenhig." Now the mails for Bos- 
ton were closed on Monday and 
Wednesday mornings, fitting in with 
the running of the stages. 

Early in the year, Samuel Sprague 
had proposed, "if suitable encourage- 
ment" were given, "to establish a post 
route from Newbedford to Barn- 
stable by way of Rochester, Ware- 
ham, Sandwich, &c., and return thro 
Plymouth, Middletaorough, &c., home." 
He promised "the greatest care and 
attention paid to private business; 
and every command punctually per- 
formed at reasonable terms." 

Apparently a post route had already 
been established to Nev/port, for The 
Medley, early announcing that "one 
Jesse Haskell having undertaken to 
prosecute the post business between 
Xewbedford and Newport, The Med- 
ley would be delivered en route in 
Dartmouth, Westport, Tiverton and 
Little Compton, as well as in New- 

Later, a notice signed by John 
Spooner announced that the post from 
Bedford to Newport, through the win- 
ter season, would leave every Monday 
morning, arriving the same night, and 
he offered: "Letters carried and pri- 
vate business transacted with the 
greatest care." 

Few as the mails were, there was 
evidently little care in their transmis- 
sion, and great difficulty in their col- 
lection, for "Letters remaining at the 
postoffice" was a regular feature of 
The Medley, with letters in this office 
addressed Rochester, Dartmouth, 
Westport, and Martha's Vineyard, be- 
sides Acushnet, Fairhaven and Bed- 
ford, and sometimes three deep to the 
same address. 

The Medley tried to stimulate the 
establishment of post routes by call- 
ing for "Smart a1)le men to supply some 
•excellent post routes, good encourage- 
ment to be given by the printer here- 
of." In the closing number of the 
year was a call for a "steady, capable 
-man to prosecute a post route to the 
■eastward" — sign not only that The 
Medley was looking for an enlarged 
field but that Newbedford was seek- 

ing to broaden its touch with the 
neighboring towns. 

Early Shipping. 
Through its ships it already had 
touch with more distant ports. In one 
week, for instance, at the custoni 
house were cleared sloops for Charles- 
ton and Savannah, and a schooner for 
Hudson; and in another week, besides 
the clearance of a schooner and a ship 
for whale voyages, sloops sailed for 
N-iwbern, for Philadelphia, and Sa- 
vannah — these being merely sample 
weeks. Such advertisements as this 

"For New York and North River, 
the fast sailing schooner T?i.bitha, now 
lying at Rotch wharf, John Crowell 
master, will jsail (at such a time), 
wind and weather permitting. For 
freight or passage apply to John 
Spooner or to the said Crowell." 

"For Newport and Philadelphia, the 
sloop Lively, lying at Russell Wharf, 
Shubael Bunker, master, will sail" 
(etc.); "and will be a constant trader 
all this season, from this port to 
those places. For freight or passage 
apply to the Master in Bedford: who 
will transact business for any gentle- 
man at either the above places on 
the most reasonable terms." 

Xo Fliu'i-y OA-er Elections. 
Contrary to the usual flurry of to- 
day preceding town meeting day in 
the neighboring towns, and the stir 
of our own city election, in March 
appeared a little five line notice: 
" — Monday next, at 10 o'clock a. m. 
is notified for the legal voters of this 
town to meet to choose town officers 
for the year ensuing. Also, at 2 
o'clock p. m. to choose a Governor, 
Lieutenant governor, and Senators." 
Not a word had been previously said 
about candidates. In the following 
week's paper appeared the item, with- 
out heading of any sort: "At a meet- 
ing of the inhabitants of this town, 
on Monday last, the votes given in 
were:" — with the vote for governor, 
lieutenant governor, and senators, 
Hancock getting fifty-three of the 
fifty-four votes cast. The vote for 
senators stood: "Hon. George Leonard 
3S — Hon. Thomas Durfee 33 — Hon. 
Elisha May 37." 

With similar brevity appeared the 
call to " — the citizens of Newbedford 
who are legal voters" to meet at "the 
old Congregational meeting house to 
choose a representative to congress, 
to be a citizen of Barnstable or Ply- 
mouth county. Every person who 
values the privileges of a Freeman will 
attend. General James Warren, John 
Davis, and Shear Jashub Bourne, 
Esqs. are mentioned as candidates." 
There was afterwards no report of 
the result of the election. 


Drinking Toasts to Wasliington. 

Newbedford and Fairhaven had a 
rousing good time in the celebration 
of the birthday of "our worthy Presi- 
dent George Washington," on the 
eleventh of February, the date under 
the old style of time reckoning. To 
quote The Medley report: 

"The day was ushered in with the 
rising gun, by fifteen discharges of 
cannon, from the foot of Prospect 
street; attended with inussick, and a 
display of the national colors from an 
emint nee. 

"At 2 o'clock p. m. the citizens 
assembled at Fourcorners, at the foot 
of Union street; Tnd with the artillery, 
and mussick in front, headed by Col. 
Claghcrn, moved in procession to 
the South part of Water street," — 
Water street only ran about a block 
south in that day, — "which situation 
gave them a commanding view of their 
fellow citizens, assembled on the occa- 
sion, in Fairhaven. 

"The signal for corrimencing the 
fire was now given by the discharge 
of a cannon by our fellow citizens 
of Fairhaven. A regular and alter- 
nate fire was then kept up: — each 
discharge preceded by the following 
toasts and sentiments: 

"1st. Long life to the American 

"2d. May the cause of Liberty and 
Freedom never experience the want 
of a Friend like him. 

"3d. May humanity like his ever 
confound the enemies to Freedom, 
and convert them to walk in his 
benevolent paths. 

"4th. That the peace of America 
may continue the same, may his suc- 
cessor adopt his virtues. 

"5th. Directed by his wisdom, may 
agriculture. commerce, arts, and 
mechanism become more general 
beneficial to the citizens of mankind. 

"6th. May each soldier, like him, 
feel himself a citizen, and each citizen 
a soldier. 

"7th. May his religious examples 
pervade the breast of every citizen; 
and the shades of bigotry and super- 
stitioTi give place to the enlightening 
beams of philanthropy. 

"8th. May his principles of liberty 
never sleep, where they have taken 
root, till every root and branch of 
de.«potism be dispelled the terrestrial 

"9th. The French Republic! — may 
she ev^er continue to cherish the 
sparks of Freedom, caught from the 
American altar of Liberty. 

"10th. The ofllcers and soldiers of 
the late army, who, with their illus- 
trious Chief, have shared the immor- 
tal honor of emancipating their 

country from slavery, and establish- 
ing the blessings of Liberty. 

"11th. May every existing tyrant 
tremble at the name of Washington! — 
and the genuine principles of Liberty 
and Equality universally pervade and. 
enlighten the world. 

"12th. Downfall to tyrannical Mon- 

"1.3 th. Fayette! May we all pos- 
sess his virtues, but not be sharers of 
the fate which envy hurls upon him. 

"14th. May an honest heart never 
feel distress. 

"l.")th. May health, and every tem- 
poral blessing be continued to our be- 
loved president. May his name be 
transmitted with respect and gratitude 
to posterity; and may succeeding gen- 
erations experience the benign influ- 
ence of his virtue and his Patriotism. 

"After which the following Patriotic 
and volunteer toast was given: — 

"May the French Nation long enjoy 
the blessings of liberty and equality; 
and maj,' it never tarnish its glory. 
by any acts of inhumanity. 

"The Procession," the report con- 
tinues, "then moved from Water street 
to North Bedford: and at sunsetting, 
firing" recoinmt-nced and continued for 
near an hour. — After which, the com- 
pany retired, and partook of an ele- 
gant entertainment at citizen Garish's, 
where their Patriotic joy was demon- 
strated by the following toasts and 
federal sentiments: 

"Confederated America! May free- 
dom and unanim.ity continue to be the 
distinguishing characteristics of these 
states: — and may Columbia annually 
shine with redoubled accession of vir- 
tue, knowledge, and glory. 

"The Commonwealth of Massachu- 
setts! May she ever enjoy the bless- 
ings, and always flourish under the 
immediate direction of a wise and 
virtuous administration: and may her 
citizens ever evince to the world, the 
possession of those principles most 
essential to the dignity of Man. 

"The County of Bristol! Success to 
her husbandry and navigation, and 
unanimity among her citizens in poli- 
tical sentiments. 

"Newbedford! May we never again 
suffer by the ravaging hand of war. 
May unanimity, industry, and litera- 
ture, with all the benevolent and so- 
cial virtues, ever harmonize and dis- 
tinguish her citizens. 

"The day passed in the greatest 
harmony and good order — and at the 
hour of ten at Eve, the citizens re- 
tired elate with the agreeable re- 
flections which the pleasures of the 
day had inspired." 

"When the firing had ceased," the 
report proceeds, "oui' fellow citizens 


of Fairhaven ret'red to a convenient 
place, where fifteen convivial toasts 
were drank [the celebration proceed- 
ing simultaneously in the two 
towns] : — 

"1 Long life to the President of 
the United States.— May he continue 
the Patton (.sic) of Liberty, and Ty- 
rant's foe. ,^ ^, 

•'2. His amiable Lady.-^May they 
long en.1oy connubial felicity. 

"3. The Vicepresident. 

"4. The Government of the United 


"5. The liberty of Nations. 

"6. Tranquillity in France, and a 
peaceable return to her emigrant 
citizens. , , . , 

"7. May that noble spark which 
was kindled in America spread thro 
the world. 

••S. The memory of our sleeping 
' ••9. The downfall of Monarchy. 

"10. Our Brethren on the Frontiers. 

••11. Agriculture. 

••12. Commerce and Navigation. 

••13. Arts and Sciences. 

"14. Love, peace, and unity, at 
home and abroad. 

"1.5. The eleventh of February. 

"After which an elegant entertain- 
ment was provided, and the evening 
was spent in festivity and joy-— O 
Bedford! — How unlike the day, when 
the British stardard waved in tri- 
umph round thy shores — when wild 
dism&y sat on every countenance, and 
the Valiant trembled with fear." 
"Breasts Glowing: with Liberty." 

Possibly takinpc fire from this enthu- 
siasm of the adjoining town, 
Rochester — which in that day com- 
prised what are now the towns of 
Mattapoisett, Marion, and Rochester, 
with a population, according to the 
1790 census, of 2,644 — went in for a 
great Indenendence Day celebration. 
Nothing is said about the day's ob- 
servance in this town, but as a 
number of "patriots of neighboring 
towns" are reported to have been 
present in Rochester, probably that 
was the place of the day in this 

The Medley tells about a day of 
"festivity and rejoicing," after which 
"each one retired with his breast 
glowing with the spirit of Liberty and 
Equality." How much of this was 
due to genuine patriotism and 
hOAv much to the "elegant re- 
past" partaken of at "Citizen Rug- 
gles' tavern" earlier in the day, and 
the fifteen toasts later drunk can not 
be said: but the facts of the case are 
that •'the morning was ushered by a 
discharge of cannon and a display of 
the fag of the United States; at ten 

o'clock a number of patriotic citizens 
of Rochester and the neighboring 
town«! assembled at Cilizen Ruggles" 
tavern, where they partook of an 
elegant repast. At two o'clock p. m. 
the first company of Militia of 
Rochtster, commanded by Capt. 
Sturtevant, paraded; where, after go- 
ing fhro the military exercise, was a 
discharge of fifteen cannon, answering 
CO the fifteen free, sovereign and con- 
federated States of America; after 
which the officers again joined with 
their patriotic brethren to celebrate 
the day, when the following Toasts 
were drunk: 

•'1. The United States of America — 
may their Independence be lasting as 

"2. The President — long live the 
)3atriotic Hero. 

"3. The Legislature of the Union — 
may its deliberations be for the pub- 
lic good. 

•■4. The Commonwealth of Massa- 
chusetts — may her fishery, commerce, 
and agriculture ever flourish. 

••.5. The Governor — may immortal 
honor be the reward of his exertions 
in establishing our Independence. 

"6. The Lieut. Governor — may 
peace and tranquillity attend him 
thro his declining years. 

"7. The Patriots and Heroes of 
seventy-six — may the same patriotic 
zeal animate our breasts which then 
warmed theirs. 

"S. The Officers and Soldiers of the 
day — may their principles of liberty 
and equality never sleep. 

"9. The Frontiers — may they be 
protected from the depredations of 
savage barbarians. 

"lo; The Republic of France — as 
she has catched the spark of liberty 
from America, may its flame never be 

"11. The Marquis de la Fayette — 
may the day soon arrive when he again 
shall breathe the air of freedom. 

"12. May strict neutrality be pre- 
served between the United States and 
the Belligerent Powers. 

"13. May Liberty run parallel with 

•'14. The State of Vermont. 
"1.5. The State of Kentucky." 
Then it was that "after having spent 
the day in festivity and rejoicing, each 
one retired with his breast glowing 
with the spirit of Libertj^ and 

Tlie Philomathean Society. 

Probably some of the "scholars" 
and "lovers of learning" in the Phil- 
omathean society iiad a hand in for- 
mulating^ the toasts for the Washing- 


ton birthday celebration; and we get 
a touch of the same grandiloquence, 
coupled with rvA practicality, in the 
subjects propounded for discussion at 
one of its meetings. There had been a 
call to a quarterly meeting "to be held 
at the new schot)l house at Head of 
Acushn(:t River," "to be opened pre- 
cisely at 9 o'clock a. m." — No late 
evening meetings for the early New- 
bedfordians. According to a notice is- 
sued by the secretary, who was no 
other than the eJitor of The Medley, 
at that nieeting it was voted that "the 
following questions should be debated 
upon at the next meeting of the 
society and that the secretary pub- 
lish them in the interim, for the in- 
formation of absent members: 

"Is it for the Emolument of Society 
that the chief Magistrate should have 
it in his Power to pardon Criminals ^ 

"Is it consistent with justice Ihat 
Minors should pay a poll tax for the 
support of government? 

"Is a reform in English Orthogra- 
phy under our present circumstances, 
expedient or not?" — tne sign of an 
early beginning to a long-continued 

Soliools Public ana Private. 

Adopting the Massachusetts policy, 
in Colonial times, of maintaining 
schools by public money raised by 
taxation. Old Dartmouth maintained, 
certainly as early as the end of the 
first third of the eighteenth century, 
a school-master for each village and 
every person in each village had 
"free access or liberty," to quote an 
old town report, "to send their chil- 
dren to sd master for benefit of the 
lattin tongue, but no other." New- 
bedford had such a "grammar mas- 
ter," chiefly to prepare students for 
the university at Cambridge. Almost 
certainly at the same time there was 
also an elementary school. 

With the adoption of the state con- 
stitution in 1780, public education 
received a livelier attention; and 
when in 1787 Newbedford was in- 
corporated 9.S a separate town, its 
first town meeting voted that "there 
be one person employed as a town 
school master in this town." For the 
next eleven years there is record of 
a vote passed annually that the se- 
lectmen appoint the school masters 
of the town according to law. But 
public support of schools in this town 
had been growing less willing, if one 
may judge by the fact that in 1798 
only "a sum of money for schooling 
poor children" was voted, this sum 
being placed at two hundred dollars, 
at the recoiTimendation of a commit- 
tee which had been appointed to "in- 
quire into the number of poor chil- 
dren in said town necessary to send 

to school at the expense of the town;" 
and for more than a score of years 
the public schools were schools for 
the Indigent. Probably, then, in 179 3 
more children went to private schools 
than to public ones in this town. 
From a very early period there was 
a school on Johnny Cake Hill. At 
this time there was one at Oxford, 
— the Poverty Point of today: 
still standing on the Taber Farm, — 
and probably others, besides the one 
referred to in this advertisement: 

"Thaddeus Mayhew respectfully 
informs the inhabitants of Bedford 
and its vicinity, that, if suitable en- 
couragement be given, he proposes to 
open a School at the north School- 
nou^e. where i;e will teach Reading, 
Writing, vulgar and decimal Arithe- 
metic, and English grammar; and 
hopes from his acquaintance with 
actual business, and a due sense of the 
importance of the undertaking, to be 
able to give satisfaction to his Em- 

"Those who are disposed to favor 
him with encouragement are desired 
to leave their names, at the store of 
Captfin JeremiC'h Mayhew or Mr. 
William Ross, where they may see the 

Tlie Evening- School. 

Nothing mora appears on this score 
until in October Mr. Mayhew in a no- 
tice headed "Evening school" an- 
nounces that: 

"The Subscriber, returning his grate- 
ful thanks to his employers for past 
patronage, begs leave to acquaint the 
public that he has concluded to con- 
tinue the business; and that for the 
accommodation and benefit of those 
whose particular vocations render 
attendance impracticable, he projjoses 
en Monday evening next to open an 
evening school' — wh-^n in addition to 
v^/hat was formerly advertised, be wJ-l 
teach bookkeeping navigation, and 
the theory of m<.nsuralion, and gaug- 
ing. And flattering himself with hav- 
ing given general -satisfaction hereto- 
fore engages by his assiduous atten- 
tion to the improvement of those en- 
trusted to his care, that tlios3 A\ho 
may hereafter be disposed to favor 
him with encouragement shall not lind 
their confidence misplaced — especial- 
ly as he is determined they shall find 
no lower Terms, nor easier mode of 

An Kaiiy Keatler. 

The editor and publisher of The 
Medley at about this time set about 
trying to enrich the school )ife--and 
possibly his own purse- -by getting up 
a school reader. He announced "Pro- 
posals of John Spooner for Printing, 
by S;ibscription, Miscellanies, Moral 
and Instructive, in Prose and Verse, 

from Various Authors, Designed for 
the Use of Schools and improvement 
of young- persons of belli sexes," quot- 
" 'Tis education forms the common 

Just as the twig is bent the tree 's in- 

clin'd. — Pope." 

It was to have t-wo hundred pages, 
to be printed 8.s soon as three hun- 
dred copies -were subscribed for, and 
to sell for three shillings a book; and 
those who subscribed for twelve "would 
receive two gratis." "Subscription 
papers were lodged with the printer 
and several gentlemen." 

Boarding the Schoolmaster. 

No record of school matters would 
be complete without reference to the 
complaint, of one signing himself 
"Preceptor," against the custom of 
boarding schoolmasters around among 
the of their employers. "The 
method" he said, "of obliging a Mas- 
ter to change the place of his resi- 
dence so frequently is attended with 
mani' demonstrative inconveniences: 
for wher^ a man thinks not of stay- 
ing moTi- than a week, he cannot be 
at home. No sooner has he learnt to 
conform to the diffeient manners, 
government, customs, &c. of one fam- 
ily, but he must remove to another; 
there with equal ditticulty learn to 
conform to theirs. Generally those 
persons who employ a Schoolmaster, 
have families of small children. For 
this, and many other reasons, there is 
scarce one family in ten, where a man 
can have the convenience of a studi- 
ous life (which I am, and every 
Schoolmaster ought to be fond of). I 
have sometimes experienced very dis- 
agreeable feelings, on receiving visits 
from my friends; which in other cir- 
cumstances woulJ have given me the 
most pleasing sensations. Ashamed, or 
discommoded at my lodgings, I have 
Fought refreshment fr.r them at a Pub- 
lic House; or been obliged to burden 
some one of my acquaintances with 
them, when we wished to be retired. 
We are often obliged to observe the 
most persevering and rigid temper- 
ance. I have been in perils by water; 
and in perils for want of fire; twice 
have I been lousy: thrice have I caught 
the itch; once 1 nave had — but I for- 
bear: for I do not like ex- 
posing-" myself." He complains of 
often being so far from his 
schoolhouse as to be unable to give 
•"that attention which is requisite to 
Tiis business." He wants the custom 
to be changed so that any one may 
be at liberty to board a schoolmaster 
•who lives at a suitable distance from 
the school and has "those con- 
veniences which will render his life 
comfortable and agreeable." 

Certainly one might well fancy the 
public sympathy going out to the 
long suffering Preceptor. But there 
was one of his own class W'ho soon 
gave sign of small gratitude for this 
intervention in behalf of school- 
masterly comfort. Two weeks later 
in a communication in The Medley 
"Mr. Preceptor" was addressed by 
one signing himself "E. D." and 
under date of Oxford, who asked him 
"if possest of the common principles 
of humanity" to publish his name, as 
he would thereby "justify to the 
public an innocent character, which 
suffers by your disguise — one who, 
together with his own infirmities has 
to bear (which is no inconsiderable 
grievance) the imputation of all your 
nonsense and ill-nature." 

Whereupon Preceptor informs E. 
D. that in making his complaint he 
had in view not only his own happi- 
ness but the happiness of the faculty 
in general. He should not expect a 
sympathizing brother to ask him to 
expose his name and in consequence 
that of his employers. All he will 
say is that E. D. was not the writer 
of" it, — which he does with the use of 
a nonsensical "syllogism." "As to 
what he has said of its being ill- 
natured nonsense, I shall only say," 
he comments, "that I am somewhat 
inclined to be of his opinion; for I 
have not heard a person read it, but 
what said Mr. D — was the author of 
it, for 'say they,' it is his style; sounds 
just like him, &c. — If it is my un- 
happiness to write in his style, I 
think he should use me more ten- 
derly than to cry out, nonsense, ill- 
nature, &c. seeing the intent was to 
erase a custom, which experience 
must have taught him is contrary to 
his happiness and mine." And he 
adds, "I shall conclude in the words 
of the Poet: 

"Then wherefore may not I be skip'd 
And in my room another whip'd? 
Canst thou refuse to bear thy part 
r th' public work, base as thou art — 
To higgle thus for a small scolding 
To gain the faculty good boarding?" 
leaving small doubt that Preceptor 
was of a poetic turn of mind as well 
as of a studious nature and a tease. 
"Preceptor" did not have the last 
word, for there came a caustic reply 
from the Oxford schoolmaster, under 
his full name of Elihu Doty, — the last 
two communications carrying the 
matter over into the new year. 
A Public liibrary. 
Some eight or ten years before the 
commonwealth of Massachusetts paid 
heed to the matter of public libraries, 
the subject of a library had come up 
(for consideration in the village of 


Bedford. On Feb. 2d, 1793, The Med- 
ley said editorially: "A correspondent 
observes that as something has been 
proposed respecting a library in this 
town, he hopes it may soon succeed: 
and that the proprietors will make 
the most modern and best dictionaries 
the object of their first choice, in the 
collection of books (as the diffusion 
of knowledge is the end and design of 
such a valuable institution) by which 
means they may the more readily be 
benefited by the lucubrations of some 
of our late modern writers." 

That word "lucubrations" stirred 
up the town literary disputants into 
a discussion as to its right use in this 
connection, a Friend to Literature 
asking how the correspondent can 
determine whether such writings are 
"the production of diurnal or noc- 
turnal studies," and the argument 
being clinched by recourse to the 
Latin, which shows that lucubro is 
to make Vjy candlelight and lucu- 
bratio studying by candlelight — ■ 
proving that "no authority whether 
modern or ancient is sufficient to sup- 
port the correspondent in using 
lucubrations in any other sense than 
that of night studies" — a learned dis- 
cussion that perhaps furnished in 
part the foundation for New Bed- 
ford historians' assertion that the 
early inhabitants of the town "con- 
sisted of a highly intellectual class 
of people." 

Nothing further appeared about 
the library; though from other 
sources it can be said that eventually 
book clubs were formed, the Library 
Society got organized, followed by 
the Social Library, and that when, in 
the progress of time, all these had 
combined, the New Bedford Social 
Library enjoyed "a long, prosperous, 
and profitable career." 

A Doctor of Divinity. 

The town had at least one real stu- 
dent, but he was an iniportation. The 
name of the Rev. Samuel West, the 
able Congregational minister in the 
villapi at the of the river was 
occasionally mentioned in The Med- 
ley, but never nu^re interestingly than 
in the statemept that "at the late 
commencement at Harvard College 
the degree of Doctor o': Divinity was 
conferred on the Rev. Samuel West, 
of this town." 

Interest in the Fi'encli Republic. 

If one may judge from the 
columns and columns of news in The 
Medley of affairs in France, the 
people here were greatly interested 
in the French revolution and in the 
establishment of the French Re- 
public. For instance, the proceed- 
ings of the convention that sentenced 

Louis Capet to death were recorded 
in full, with the voice of every mem- 
ber chronicled on the question of 
guilt, and the full text of the decree 
of sentence was given, with apology 
from week to week for the omission 
of other matters because of the news 
from France. Certainly the editor of 
The Medley was tremendously inter- 
ested. On February 2d he said: "Ca 
Ira! Ca Ira! is the song of the day. 
By yesterday's mail, we are agreeably 
entertained with particulars of the 
Civic Feast, celebrated the 24th ult. 
at Boston, Charlestown, Watertown, 
Medford, Plymouth, and Brookline, in 
this state, and at Providence in 
Rhodeisland, on the establishment of 
Liberty and Equality in France. 
Altho the citizens of this vicinity may 
not manifest their joy in so public a 
manner, yet, with sincere hearts, 
each one will reecho the wish that the 
spread of Liberty may speedily be- 
come as universal as that of Life — 
and that our noble allies 'having: 
wrested the sceptre from Monarchy, 
may enjoy Liberty, without An- 
archy.' " 

And in reporting the sentence of 
death for Louis he said: "The editor is 
happy to be able to give his readers 
so early and so general a statement 
of the matter: but must lament with 
every true friend to liberty the death 
of that generous monarch, who was 
Columbia's early friend: — who, when 
oppression and tyranny spread their 
banners over this young domain, flew 
to its relief, and quelled the haughty 
pride of Britain. — As true, un- 
prejudiced friend, we bid adieu to his 
sleeping ashes — & hope his shade 
reigns now upon a throne which mobs 
nor cruel foes can ne'er destroy." 

Later on, the French triumphs over 
the British were nuts to The Medley. 
When the Duke of York was taken 
with his whole army, early in 1794, 
"the editor gladly presents his Patrons 
the agreeable morceau." But then, 
that very same piece of news affected 
congress so that "it could not stay in 
their siting"! 

Newbedford, however, fell in with 
Boston in adopting resolutions in favor 
of strict neutrality toward all belliger- 
ent European powers, in accord with 
President Washmgton'b proclamation 
urging an impartial attitude. "^A 
number of the inhabitants of this 
town met" and "voted the following 
resolves: That we will to the i:tmost 
of our power strictly attend to the 
pacific system manifested by the 
pi-esident in his late proclamations: 
thfit we heartily concur with our fel- 
low citizens of the town of Boston in 
their late doings relative hereto; and 
t?iat we will endeavor to detect all 


such as may, in the smallest degree, 
violate that neutrality we so highly 
approve." Signed Thaddeus Mayhew, 

News of the holding of American 
vessels in Algiers — in the midst of the 
European wars — led The Medley to 
get out the only "extra" referred to: 
"a handbill," it is called, issued on 
the day of the receipt of the news; 
while the item itself was repeated in 
the next regular issue. 

Preserving the Peace. 

Newbedford had at this time, and 
apparently needed it, a peace pro- 
tection association. Some idea of the 
goings on can be grasped from this 
paragraph printed in November: 

"A correspondent being asked, why 
the noise has become so great in the 
streets as almost to preclude the pos- 
sibility of transacting business in the 
evening, gave for answer, what Elijah 
the Prophet did to the Priests of Baal 
— 'Perhaps the "Watchmen are talk- 
ing — or they are pursuing, or they 
are in a journey, or peradventure they 
are sleeping and must be awaked.' 

There is suggestion, too, of the 
presence of unruly spirits in an earlier 
advertisement of two men v/ho "ut- 
terly refused" to lenci their boats to 
"any persons wiiomscever" because 
of the many damages mflicted by 
those who had previously been accom- 
modated, and in the later call for 
assistance by a man living at 'the 
T^" in finding out who had 
taken, 'thro mistake or designingly," 
a lot of white pine boards that had 
been left some months before at the 
Head of Aeushnet River. 

"Bedford Association." 

Nothing had been said in The 
Medley about the exisience of an or- 
ganization to preserve the peace. A 
meeting had been called in March of 
the "Bedford Association," for "the 
appointment of onicers and transact- 
ing .such other business as may ap- 
pear necessary," the meeting to be 
held "at the north school house": 
but no .nkling was given as to v/hat 
the Bedford Association was and no 
report followed of the meeting. But 
now, when "the noise had become 
so great in the streets ' as to disturb 
the rural quiet of Fourcorners, and to 
suggest that the watchmen were 
sleeping, the Bedford Associa- 
tion comes to the front in a 
long announcement, divided be- 
tween two issues of The Medley, 
"published for the information of all 
concerned — more particularly as a 
guide and Monitor to our 'Peace 
Officers' " of "a system of Regulations 
proposed for the purpose of promot- 
ing good Order, Quietness, and 

Security in the Village of Bedford, 
within the Town of Newbedford and 
County of Bristol." This consisted of 
a preamble and nineteen articles of 
orders and regulations, and under 
date showing that the association had 
organized on the "17th of 3d month 
called March, 179:i." 

This was the situation revealed by 
the preamble: 

""We, the subscribers, inhabit.ants 
of the Village of Bedford and its 
vicinity, having heretofore suffered 
many inconveniences by the disorderly 
conduct of some of the young people 
and others, in various instances, for 
the purpose of preventing and re- 
forming those disorders — Do hereby 
agree to form ourselves into an asso- 
ciate body, and engage as much as 
may be in cur power, ^o suppress the 
various species of vice and immoral- 
ity, that have led to those inconveni- 

Without attempting to go into the 
rules and regulations in detail, it may 
be said that they pun'ided for the 
division of the into three 
wards, South, Middle, and North, and 
"out of each Ward was to be ap- 
pointed annually three suitable per- 
sons, men of orderly and temperate 
conduct," to be "stiled" censors, "to 
sit not less than two of them upon 
any occasion," to hear the com- 
plaints brought in by the Officers of 
the Peace of any disorderly conduct 
'■practiced either within or without 
the limits" of the village. 

After hearing the parties "with 
candor and impartiality," they were 
"to determine and require such repa- 
ration made (when injury hath been 
sustained) by the offender to the in- 
jured party, as they shall think 
equitable, and further in all cases to 
admonish and advice the parties to 
more circumspect conduct in future; 
which advice being well accepted, the 
party to be discharged: but when 
there appears an obstinate and in- 
corrigible disposition," the Censors 
were "to certify the same to the 
Secretary, that their names may be 
recorded, and also to the Counsellor, 
requiring his entring complaint there- 
of to the civil magistrate (when the 
action is cognizable by law), and in 
the absence of the Counsellor to make 
complaint themselves." 

Every subscriber to the association 
was constituted an Officer of the 
Peace, "not less than four of which, 
at any one time to have the care of 
the Village & to patrole the streets, 
at such times as is necessary, in order 
to preserve the peace and good order 
of the Village; and they and all 
others are required, upon discovery of 


any tumult or unnecessary noise, to 
admonish and advise the persons to 
desist, and quietly to repair to their 
respective homes; and upon refusal, 
or discovery of any other malprac- 
tices to the injury of any individual, 
that they delay not to malve com- 
plaint to the Censors, in order for 
their further examination." 
Disorderly Conduct. 

Conduct deemed offences within 
the intention of the association was 
specified as: "Indecent and disorderly 
behavior on the Sabbath, as idle and 
unnecessary meeting in the streets in 
companies and con^•ersing — sailing for 
pleasure on that day, or any kind of 
gaming; ransacking orchards, gar- 
dens, or any other inclosure, to the 
injury of the owner; or robing them 
of their fruit and produce, within or 
"without the limits of this association; 
fighting, obscene language, or pro- 
fane swearing, and drunkenness; 
tumults in the streets on evenings or 
at other times or places; breaking 
windows, throwing stones or sticks, 
and wantonly killing or abusing any 
domestic animals which are allowed 
to run at large; uncivil language and 
behavior to any person." 

Members of the association offend- 
ing were to be brought before the 
censors, refusing which they were to 
be expelled and brought before a 

Every parent, master, or guardian, 
on the transgression of his child or 
apprentice was to deliverihim up to the 
censors for trial; and all members 
were to use "every exertion in their 
power" to prevent disorders and dis- 
cover all breaches of the peace. In 
all cases affecting the liberty or 
reputation of the subject, two-thirds 
of the members were required to be 
present. Any culprit who "reformed 
his manners" could have his name 
erased by the secretary. 

Any person of lawful age was at 
liberty to be a subscriber of the as- 
sociation, but once a member, he 
solemnly bound himself to adhere to 
it until the object in view had been 
accomplished or the association 
mutually dissolved. 

Evidently there was some difficulty 
about carrying out the provisions of 
bringing offenders before the censors, 
for notice is here given that at the 
annual meeting of that year, a year 
after organization, it had been voted 
that the peace officer having the care 
of the town at the time should "serve 
citations on those whom they may be 
directed to by the Censors and to see 
the persons so cited be brot before 
the said Censors." 

The document was signed by Caleb 
Greene, Secretary, followed by the 

"Signed by 85 of the inhabitants of 
Bedford and its vicinity." 

The Intellectual Centre. 

It is noticeable that the intellec- 
tual interests of the town all seemed 
to cluster about this "north school 
house" at the head of the river, 
while the chief business of the town 
was pursued at Fourcorners. 

A Rochester Ordination. 

No church matters were reported 
for this town during the year, but a 
new minister was ordained at the 
Congregational church in Rochester, 
"to the pastoral care of the Congre- 
gational church and society" in the 
"Congregational precinct of Roches- 
ter, Middleborough, and Freetown." 
He was the Rev. Calvin Chaddock. 
The ministers named as taking part 
in the service, belonged in Carver, 
Plymouth, Rochester, and Abington; 
and The Medley comments that "the 
greatest order and regularity were 
observed by the very numerous 
auditory which attended on the occa- 
sion." While a candidate for the 
place the young man had had the 
good judgment to marry, in Roches- 
ter, "the amiable Miss Melatiah Nye 
of Oakham," as the marriage notice 

Street Names. 

In an early issue of 1793 appeared 
this notice as to street names — that 
"the editor of The Medley, by desire 
of a number of gentlemen in this 
place and for the information of the 
public, would mention — that the 
Street, beginning at Fourcorners, and 
running west, is distinguished and 
known by the name of Union street; 
the street running north, from said 
Fourcorners, North street; the street 
running east. Prospect street; and 
that running south. Water street." 

Poor Roads. 

The local good roads, or bad roads, 
question dates back at least to 1793. 
In what is evidently an editorial re- 
view, and under the head "A Hint," 
a correspondent is said to suggest "to 
the Surveyors of roads in the town of 
Newbedford the necessity of attend- 
ing to some considerable repairs 
thereon. — He prefers the candid 
mode of redressing the grievances, to 
presenting a complaint to the Grand- 
juryman: and since it is universally 
agreed that the roads of Newbedford 
are inferior in point of goodness to 
any in New England, he hopes this 
seasonable word will not pass un- 


Town Militia, 

George Claghorn, colonel of the 
Second Regiment in the Second 
Brigade of the Fifth Division of the 
state militia, on May 31st, quoted the 
law of the commonwealth providing 
"that every noncommissioned Officer 
and Soldier of the Militia shall equip 
himself, and be constantly provided 
with a good firearm with a steel or 
iron ramrod, a spring to retain the 
same, a worm, priming wire and 
brush — a bayonet flted to his firearm, 
a scabbard and belt for the same — a 
cartridge box that will hold fifteen 
cartridges at least — six flints — one 
pound of powder — forty leaden balls 
suitable for his firearm, &c." under 
penalty of a possible fine of three 
pounds for failure to comply with the 
regulation; and the company was 
called together "for exercise and to 
examine their equipment" — "and it is 
the earnest wish of the Colonel and 
Major to see them appear in the 
character they sustain, which is 
Soldiers and Citizens." 

"Stop a Runaway!" 

That youth was not always satis- 
fied with the working of the appren- 
tice system and sometimes took it 
into its own hands to remedy real or 
fancied wrongs or to secure at least 
a change, and that those to whom 
they were bound in service took ad- 
vantage of the constitutional right to 
get back, if possible, those whose 
labor they claimed, is shown in two 
advertisements calling upon the 
populace to "Stop a Runaway!" — one 
from Freetown and the other from 
Dartmouth. In regard to the latter — 
"Thomas Akin, a Blacksmith," an- 

"Ran away from the subscriber, the 
2 7th ult., an indented apprentice boy, 
by name Hattle Brayley; sixteen years 
old — about four feet six inches high — 
light complexion and short hair. — Had 
on. when he went away, a short green 
outside coat, fustic-coloured broad- 
cloth trousers, patched on the knees 
with cloth of the same kind and colour 
as his coat, — a good felt hat. Took 
with liim, a good caster hat — a good 
led coloured broadcloth coat — a jack- 
et and breeches— also a seal skin cap. 

"Whoever will return said Boy shall 
recei\e a handsome reward and all 
charges. All persons are forbid har- 
bouring or trusting him on my ac- 
count — and Masters of vessels are 
liereby forewarned against taking him 
to sea — as they will answer for it at 
their peril." 

Human Nature Manifested. 

Human nature seems to have been 
jnuch the same then as now: there 

was the one who got things under 
false pretenses, or at least made mis- 
takes: "The Person who claimed But- 
ler's Hudibras and took it from this 
office will much oblige the printer by 
returning the same, or more fully 
ascertaining his property." There was 
the one who lost his Pocketbook "on 
the road from the paper mills in Mil- 
ton to the Northparish in Bridgewater" 
in August, and got round to advertis- 
ing for it in February. There was the 
man who wanted more money than he 
had: "Wanted, on loan, for 6 Months 
or a Year, one hundred Pounds, for 
which or a part, good security will be 
given and interest paid as most agree- 
able to the loaner." And there was 
the same notice printed by a deserted 
husband that has appeared in the 
newspapers every once in a while up 
to now, and will while marriage in- 
felicity remains an unhappy fact, of a 
wife's having left her husband's bed 
and board and of his forbidding per- 
sons to trust her on his account, 
signed by a Dartmouth man, under 
the exceptionally sensational heading 
for that day of "A?i"Elopement! !" and 
a crude woodcut picture of a hoop- 
skirted woman, with a bag hanging 
from a stick over her shoulder — quite 
an Amazon in appearance, though the 
cut is only three-quarters of an inch 

A liegalized Lottery. 

And there were the people who 
wanted something for nothing and 
subscribed for the legalized lottery 
organized to pay for a bridge in New- 
field, Connecticut. The lottery had 
been, authorized by the legislature, 
providing for 13,334 tickets at four 
dollars each, with 407S prizes ranging 
from four thousand dollars down to 
five dollars, to a total of .$53,336, sub- 
ject to a deduction of 12i/4 per cent.; 
and lea\ing 92.'56 tickets blank. The 
management flattered themselves 
these schemes would give "as general 
satisfaction as is possible for one to 
be found — so variable is the opinion 
and calculation of adventures." 

William Ross and Shearman and 
Procter offered tickets for sale in New- 
bedford. That it was an entirely 
reputable scheme is shown in an 
advertisement changing the date of 
the drawing, which explained the rea- 
son for this as "the adjournment of 
the County Court to the time first 
proposed;" the manager who sub- 
scribed his name "being clerk of said 
court, and others of the managers be- 
longing to it." 

A Natural Singularity. 

That running to the newspaper 
with freaks, whether of turnips, 
flowers, or animals, is no new adven- 


ture, either, finds witness in this item 
under the head of "Natural Singu- 

"Tn Tiverton, Rhodeisland, is a lamb 
three months old, which dame Nature 
hap furnished with three mouths. The 
t^^ o extJ-a mouths are on each side of 
its head; ^vhich open and shut, and 
move regularly with the front mouth. 
■ — Each mouth has four handsome 
teeth — and appear firmly set. It 
grazes with the flock — and is active 
and as likely to thrive as any lamb 
in the flock. In all other parts it is 
like other sheep. — This singularity 
may be seen at Mrs. Sarah Almj-'s, by 
any one who doubts the truth of the 
above account." 

Small Pox Bill of Mortality. 

But, unlike the present day, that 
there was no clamor to get things into 
the paper the moment they happened 
is shown in the item, in the middle of 
January, giving the names of those 
persons who had died of the small 
pox in this town in the four previous 
months. Under the head of "Smal? 
Pox Bill of Mortality" were printed 
twenty-nine names, including twelve 
of children; and the lack of .system in 
keeping track of deaths is evidenced in 
the statement that "any person who 
can give more particular information, 
by communicating details not here in- 
serted will much oblige the Editor by 
handing him an account for publica- 

Fumigating with Gun Powder. 

Speaking of the small pox — there 
was an epidemic of j'ellow fever in 
Philadelphia that year, and, following 
the lead of New York, Governor Han- 
cock, at the vote of the Massachusetts 
senate, issued a proclamation of 
iiuarantine against persons and things 
from Philadelphia, after which Boston 
issued a set of regulations that pro- 
vided, among other things, for the 
holding for thirty days of all vessels 
from places supposed to be infected, 
"durijig which time she shall be duly 
washed with vinegar and cleansed by 
the explosion of gunpowder between 
decks and in the cabin." Persons 
arriving overland from places 
supposed to be infected were to be de- 
tained "at places appropriated by the 
health officers" and "their effects, bag- 
gage, and merchandise were there to 
be opened, washed, and fumigated 
with vinegar and repeated explosions 
of gun powder." 

All that The Medley said with refer- 
ence to any move on the part of this 
town was that "the selectmen have 
taken the necessary precautions to 
prevent the disease from being 
brought into this place." Evidently 
the town was stirred up, however, for 

The Medley some time after this stated 
that the selectmen had in their pos- 
session a circular issued by the New 
York quarantine committee saying 
that the disease was not easily taken 
"without a predisposition of the body 
and that the climate was not favorable 
to the disease .in any place but Phila- 
delphia!" — which bears a trace of the 
rivalry between the two places. 

The New York circular sought in 
specific terms to "preserve that com- 
mercial and social intercourse so nec- 
cessary to the general prosperity and 

Quaint Marriage Notices. 

Mo&tly the rr.arriage notices were 
the merest naming of names, usually 
without name oi minister, or date — 
though occasioiially Mr.-So-and-So 
married the "amiable" cr "agreeable" 
Miss So-and^So; and twice a notice 
was accompanied by verse. Here, 
evidently, was an unusually important 

"It. this towr., Sunday evening last, 
by tpe Rev. Doctor Wtst, Capt. Pre- 
served Fish, to Miss Polly Gerrish, 
eldest daughter of Mr. John Gerrish, 
of th n place. 

" 'Thus pass their life — 
A clear united stream, by care un- 
ruffled ; 
While with each other blest, creative 

Still bids eternal Eden smile around.' " 
Again, marriage moved to playful, 
flattering rhyme: 

"In this town. Mr. William Delano 
to Miss Hanna^h Tallmou: 

"When Beauty pleads with artful 

She oft the stoutest heart beguiles; 
But join'd with H's wit and sense, 
"Wlio could resist sucli eloquence?" 

Obituary Notices. 

Obituary notices were rare. When 
Governor Hancock died, a tribute to 
him appeared in a separate item, 
under a head-line "Hancock!" flanked 
on either side with skull and cross- 
bones, in which The Medley said: 

"Monday last the corpse of our late 
worthy Go\'ernor was entomb'd with 
civic and military honors. While the 
heart of sensibility laments the loss of 
so useful a character, the honor and 
respect manifested in his interment, by 
the parade of a numerous military 
band and thousands of his fellow 
citizens, will .afford a satisfaction to 
the bereaved mind, which only is expe- 
rienced when others sympathize with 
us in woe; for as he lived respected, so 
he died honored and lamented — What 
more can be said but that the noblest 
tribute was paid to his memory which 
worth and virtue merit or mortals 
can bestow." 


Again, skull and crossbones helped 
to announce the sorrow in the com- 
munity over the drowning in the river 
of a respected citizen: 

Overset by a Whirlwind. 

"Monday last, Mr. Charles Church, 
Senior, of this town, attempting to 
cross the harbor to Fairhaven, in an 
open boat, was overset by a whirlwind, 
and drowned.— -Immediate trial was 
made to recover the body: which after 
two hours' search was found. — Every 
exertion which a humane public could 
invent was used to reanimate him, but 
in vain. . Thus died 'an honest man' — 
respected by all who knew^ him — be- 
loved by all who revere true virtue — 
and much lamented by a worthy 
partner, and a large family of respect- 
able children, who bid fair to practice 
the virtues instilled in their tender 
minds by him who loved them. — His 
remains were on Wednesday decently 
interred, in the burying ground of the 
first Congregational society in this 
town, attended by a numerous con- 
course of friends and relati\'es." And 
then there followed an elegy written 
on the evening of the drowning by 
Philander — a very soulful effusion. 

Here 5S another of the rare obit- 
uaries of the year: 

A Man of Solid DeiJortment. 

"Died — In this town Mr. Ebenezer 
Allen. Jun., Cabinet Maker, in the 3 7th 
year of his life. — On the morning of 
the 2 7th (of January) he was seized 
with a pain in his head, which in- 
creased till about 1 o'clock; when, fall- 
ing asleep, a stupor succeeded, from 
which he was incapable of being 
aroused: every stimulating effort which 
Those of the faculty who were called 
in could advise, was made use of. — 
Thus continuing till about two o'clock 
on the morning of the 2Sth, he ex- 
pired. He has left behind a discon- 
solate wadow, and four children, to 
lament his loss. — He was a kind and 
affectionate husband, tender father, 
sincere friend, and obliging neighbor, 
and an honest man: these virtues 
were much increased by his Christian 
conduct; which was abundantly con- 
spicuous, in the solid deportment 
which accompanied the transactions of 
his life. In him the community has 
lost one of its most industrious citi- 
zens. May the kind hand of friend- 
ship pour in the oil of comfort, to 
soften the sorrows of his afflicted 

Prohate Court. 

Probate court was announced to be 
held here "in May and October, the 
first Tuesday, at Major Ebenezer 
Willis's" — known to a later day as the 
.John Avery Parker house, on Willis 

street, between County and State: a 
small section of which is still standing, 
in a remodelled dwelling. 

In the citations in connection with 
the settling of estates, the occupation 
of deceased was frequently stated, as 
husbandman, yeoman, merchant, and 
the like. 

Other Death Notices. 

Among other death notices were: 

■"In Dartmouth, Mr. Joseph Ricket- 
son, JEt. 47.- — Climbing a tree after 
grapes a limb broke — he fell — his 
head striking a stub put an immediate 
end to his existence." 

"At Dartmouth, Miss Betsey Wilber, 
daughter of Mr. Jonathan Wilber, of 
that town, ^Et. 16. 
" 'Death's shafts tly thick' — 

The cup goes round — 

And who so artful as to put it by!'" 

"Died — At Neworleans, Mr. Jona- 
than Ricketson, ^Et. 20. — Son of 
Capt. Daniel Ricketson of this town. 
He sailed mate of a brig from Phila- 
delphia, to the above place, where he, 
with the whole crew, were taken sick 
with the dissentery — and all except the 
cai)tain died." 

"Died — At Boston, suddenly, Sun- 
day morning last (Feb. 24). Captain 
William Claghorn, of this town, aged 
.59. He lived beloved and his loss is 
lamented by all his acquaintances." 
This was followed by a sympathetic 
verse, spoke by Religion for consola- 
tion, of the wonders of redeeming 
love. An elegy appeared in a later 
issue, signed Philander, where the 
statement was also made that Captain 
Claghorn died on a visit to Boston and 
died of apoplexN. 

When Mr. Oliver Spencer, mer- 
chant, died at Nantucket, he was "de- 
cently layed in the Friends burying 
ground : to which place he was fol- 
lowed by more than three hundred 
of his friends and neighbors." 
A Trasie Death. 

Xewbedford furnished nothing so 
thrilling in the dying line nor cause 
for so really distinctive an obituary as 
appeared under the head: "Married — 
At Nantucket," with the tragic tale 
told thus breathlessly: 

"Mr. John Fairweather to Miss 
Heppy Swain. Mr. Fairweather was 
single and an apprentice — free — mar- 
ried and beded — broke out with the 
smallpox the natural way — of neces- 
sity separated from his wife, and 
lodged in the smallpox hospital: all 
this in the .short space of less than 
48 hours" 

And, under the head of "Died," be- 

"Mr. John Fairweather. of the small 
pox the natural way." 


Whaleman Statue 





d. ^ A. r . 



Whaleman Statue 







Nineteen Hundred and Thirteen 



E. Anthony & Sons, Inc., Priuters 

Copf Z 



In the New Bedford Standard of May 16th, 1903, 
referring to a poem by John Spollon, appeared the 
following editorial: 

Considered merely as poetry, we could not say with 
any great degree of candor that the contribution to Fibre 
and Fabric, entitled ''The Whaleman," which was re- 
produced in this paper the other day, would take a high 
rank. But the sentiment must be very appealing to any 
son of New Bedford who remembers the old whaling 
days, and the mariners and merchants who made the 
whaling industry a magnificent success. We do not re- 
call that it has ever before been suggested that the 
whaleman should be commemorated by a statue, yet 
the suggestion is one that is well worth hearing and 
heeding. Those of our readers who have visited Spring- 
field, and who have seen the impressive statue by 
Augustus St. Gaudens, known generally as ''The Puri- 
tan," but which is a memorial to Deacon Samuel 
Chapin, an early settler of the town, have seen the idea 
of Fibre and Fabric's poet carried out as applied to 
the conditions of that city. As the Puritan was typical 
of Springfield, so the whaleman would be typical of this 
city. What a noble thing it would be if a St. Gaudens 
statue of The Whaleman could be placed on City Hall 
square, where hundreds of people passing every day 
could be reminded of the rugged sailors who made New 
Bedford possible! Whether the verse is good poetry 
or not, no matter. The idea is as good as it can be, 
when the aged and gray mariner is represented as 
saying : 


''Yet I heartily wish his old shape could be seen, 
In marble or bronze, mounted here on the green, 
As a Founder the town should remember 
Till Sentiment's last glowing ember 
To ashes has faded away. 

Let his monument stand, with his harpoon in hand. 
Sturdy son of the sea who dragged Avealth to the land 
In defiance of hardship and danger; 
For in this town he'll soon be a stranger." 

This subject, in the hands of a master, should readily 
adapt itself to a bold and masterly artistic treatment, 
though we shudder to think what it might be if attempted 
by mediocrity. Committed to genius, The Whaleman 
might easily be one of the great statues of America, — 
and New Bedford would be the only city where it could 
appropriately stand. 

The first information communicated to the public that 
this suggestion was likely to he realized was presented 
in the following letter of Hon. William W. Crapo, ad- 
dressed to the Mayor of New Bedford, who is chair- 
man of the Trustees of the Free Public Library: 

New Bedford, Feb. 8th, 1912. 
Hon. Charles S. Ashley, Mayor, New Bedford, Mass. : 

My Dear Sir: — I desire, subject to your approval, to 
make arrangements for a memorial in honor of the 
whalemen whose skill, hardihood, and daring brought 
fame and fortune to New Bedford and made its name 
known in every seaport on the globe ; and to be privileged 
to present it to the City of New Bedford as a tribute 
to the citizenship which I have so long enjoyed. 

For this purpose I have asked Mr. Beia L. Pratt, of 
Boston, to design a model of a bronze figure of a boat- 
steerer throwing a harpoon from the bow of a whale- 
boat. The sketch model has been prepared and shows 
the character of the work proposed. My wish is that 
this memorial be placed on the ground by the Public 
Library, and the model has been designed with that 
location in view. 


If it meets with your approval I suggest that you 
refer the consideration of this offer on my part to the 
Trustees of the Free Public Library. If the matter 
meets with the approval of the Trustees I will venture 
to proceed with the work, which when completed I shall 
desire to present for the acceptance of the City Council 
of New Bedford. 

Respectfully yours, 


To this Mayor Ashley replied as follows: 

New Bedford, Feb. 21, 1912. 
Hon. William W. Crapo, New Bedford, Mass. : 

Dear Sir: — Agreeable to the suggestion which your 
communication to me contains as to reference to the 
Trustees of the Free Public Library of the proposal 
which you make to present to the city a bronze memorial 
in honor of "The Wlialemen," I will engage to do so 
at the meeting Friday evening of this week. 

I can assure you that the proposition meets my hearty 
approval and must commend itself to every person as 
a thoughtful, generous act deserving public appreciation 
in the fullest measure. 

I have every belief that the Board of Trustees will be 
greatly pleased to designate the grounds of the Library 
building as a location where the figure shall be erected, 
and will select a place in every way fitting, and I will 
ask them in this respect to forthwith communicate with 

With great appreciation, I am yours most respectfully, 


Action was taken by the Trustees of the Library as 
shown in the following letter: 

New Bedford, Mass., March 29, 1912. 

Hon. William W. Crapo, New Bedford, Mass. : 

My Dear Sir: — The Board of Trustees of the New 
Bedford Free Public Library at their last meeting 
directed me, as clerk of the Board, to express to you 

their grateful appreciation of the kindly spirit mani- 
fested in your offer to present to the City of New 
Bedford, to be placed in some suitable location in the 
grounds surrounding the Library building, the beautiful 
memorial to those hardy mariners who have in the past 
done so much to add lustre to the honor and fame of 
this great nation, the American Whaleman, designed by 
Mr. Bela L. Pratt of Boston. 

''Voted: That the generous offer of Mr. Crapo be 
accepted and that the clerk be directed to communicate 
the same to him with the thanks of the Board." 

Yours very truly, 

A. McL. GOODSPEED, Clerk. 

The Whaleman Statue 

The appreciation of this gift by the citizens of New 
Bedford was expressed by the following editorials: 

From The Evening Standard, New Bedford: 

To be able to announce, as this newspaper has the rare 
privilege of announcing today, the approaching realiza- 
tion, of a long-cherished dream that this city might be 
adorned with a fitting memorial to the New Bedford 
whalemen, is such a pleasure as is not often experienced. 
Adding William W. Crapo's public-spirited generosity 
to Bela L. Pratt's genius for sculpture, the total is a 
creation of statuary such as very few cities in the United 
States are fortunate enough to possess. New Bedford 
has so few examples of fine artistiy that this munificent 
contribution is of surpassing importance and so of ex- 
ceptional welcome. As the giver says in his letter, the 
men whose memory it commemorates brought fame and 
fortune to New Bedford; and nothing can be more ap- 
propriate than that this memorial should perpetuate 
their fame, while adding by the perfection of its artistic 
excellence to the city 's renown. 

Two reproductions from photographs of the sculptor's 
sketch, with Mr. Crapo's letter to the Mayor, and with 
a few words of unadorned explanation, given elsewhere, 
tell the whole story. Nothing can better speak for the 
gift than the gift itself, and anything added here in the 
way of praise is the addition of superfluity, notwith- 
standing the temptation presses too hard to be resisted. 

Mr. Crapo's thought of this memorial began to take 
shape in his mind many months ago. From the first, 
his desire was to see commemorated that epoch of the 



whaling industry which he had known in his boyhood — 
an industry of strong, venturesome, ambitious men, of 
young men looking to the future, men who meant to be 
leaders and who turned out to be leaders. From that 
thought he evolved the conception of the boatsteerer, 
now fashioned from the clay by Mr. Pratt, and by and 
by to be set up in bronze and granite where all the 
people can see. Possibly our older folk need no re- 
minder that this is the figure of the young man who 
realized that his killing the whale was on his way to 
becoming, as they used to say, ''captain of a ship." 
So many barrels of oil, so many dollars of profit at the 
end of the three years' cruise, — of course. But beyond 
the immense bulk of floating flesh unconsciously waiting 
his attack he saw himself a mate, a master, an owner 
of ships, a leading citizen of his native city, wife and 
children, prosperity, and an honored name. This is 
the man of the statue — The Whaleman ''who brought 
fame and fortune to New Bedford and made its name 
known in every seaport in the globe." Here he is, a 
man in the full glory and promise of a young manhood 
and who made that promise good. Long years after- 
ward, he walked these streets, a gray-haired old man, 
he sailed the seas and he killed whales in fancy at the 
Chronometer club, he was a director in the bank, he 
sat at the head of his pew on the main aisle, he served 
his term in the legislature — but in the thought of the 
giver and in the brain of the artist he is always the 
eternal youth, inspiring and leading all those other 
youths who, coming after, will feel the impulse of his 
beckoning to achievement. Something like this, Mr. 
Crapo must have said to the sculptor, and discerning 
his splendid opportunity the sculptor has translated 
the vision into the image of the youthful boatsteerer, 
intent upon his whale, and yet still intent upon his own 
glowing dreams. 

Of the sculptor himself, little more than a word is 
needed, and much would be impertinence. Probably 
with respect to fitness for this especial commission his 

equal cannot be found among American sculptors, while 
of the two or three who may be ranked among his rivals 
in talent, not one is his superior. He has, along with 
breadth and delicacy of imagination, the power of 
vigorous execution, as is easily discoverable in the statue 
of The Whaleman. That he deems himself fortunate 
in his subject is his own modest way of putting it, but 
another can say with no reservation and with no taint 
of exaggeration that his subject is fortunate in him. 

In The Whaleman poising his harpoon where the 
currents of business and pleasure flow and swirl, for 
many a generation to come the people of New Bedford 
will see with grateful acknowledgment honor to the 
daring men of a wonderful industry, genius speaking 
inspiration through bronze and stone, and loyal affec- 
tion for the generous giver's home through a long and 
useful life. 

From the Morning Mercury, New Bedford: 

The announcement by William W. Crapo of his 
purpose to erect a memorial to the whalemen, is re- 
ceived with the greatest satisfaction. It has been the 
dream of all the lovers of the immortal days when New 
Bedford, first in the brave industry of whaling, carried 
the flag to all the seas of earth, that we might rear a 
fitting monument to the daring race of men who brought 
opulence and fame to the city through their perilous 

The hope was always associated with the fear that 
the thing might not be fittingly or worthily done. But 
for this apprehension it is likely it might have been 
attempted before this da}^ It is gratifying to know that 
it is to be done by an artist with the sympathy and in- 
telligence of Mr. Pratt, without restriction as to cost, 
and there is no less gratification that the name of Mr. 
Crapo, possibly our most distinguished and highly 
cherished citizen, is to be linked with the splendid 


Once it was decided to erect such a memorial, there 
could be no doubt in any mind regarding the subject of 
the design. ''It is the harpooner that makes the 
voyage." It is the harpooner who performs the task 
with the responsibility and the task with the thrill. 
"Nowhere in all America," said Melville, writing of 
the olden day, ' ' will you find more patrician-like houses ; 
parks and gardens more opulent, than in New Bedford. 
Whence came they? How planted upon this once scraggy 
scoria of a country? Go and gaze upon the iron em- 
blematical harpoons round yonder lofty mansion and 
your question will be answered. Yes; all these brave 
houses and flowery gardens came from the Atlantic, 
Pacific, and Indian oceans. One and all they were har- 
pooned and dragged up hither from the bottom of the 
sea. Can Herr Alexander perform a feat like that?" 

The harpooner is at the forefront of the whole des- 
perate business. When the greenhand first takes his 
place in a boat to go upon a whale, he is commanded to 
keep his eyes astern, so terrifying is the spectacle of 
the contest — a contest in which the harpooner is the 
dominant figure. If it is necessary for the harpooner 
to qualify further as to his importance, let us quote 
from Melville once again : 

"According to the invariable usage of the fishery, the 
whaleboat pushes off from the ship, with the headsman 
or whale-killer as temporary steersman, and the har- 
pooner or whale-fastener pulling the foremost oar, the 
one known as the harpooner-oar. Now it needs a strong, 
nervous arm to strike the first iron into the fish, for 
often, in what is called a long dart, the heavy implement 
has to be flung to the distance of twenty or thirty feet. 
But however prolonged and exhausting the chase, the 
harpooner is expected to pull his oar meanwhile to the 
uttermost; indeed, he is expected to set an example of 
superhuman activity to the rest, not only by incredible 
rowing, but by repeated loud and intrepid exclamations ; 
and what it is to keep shouting at the top of one's 
compass, while all the other muscles are strained and 
half started — wliat this is none know but those who have 
tried it. For one, I cannot bawl very heartily and work 


very recklessly at one and the same time. In this 
straining, bawling state, then, with his back to the fish, 
all at once the exhausted harpooner hears the exciting 
cry — * Stand up, and give it to him!' He now has to 
drop and secure his oar, turn around on his centre half 
way, seize his harpoon from the crotch, and with what 
little strength may remain, he essays to pitch it somehow 
into the whale. No wonder taking the whole fleet of 
whalemen in a body, that out of fifty fair chances for a 
dart, not five are successful; no wonder that so many 
hapless harpooners are madly cursed and disrated; no 
wonder that some of them actually burst their blood- 
vessels in the boat; no wonder that some sperm whale- 
men are absent four years with four barrels ; no wonder 
that to many ship owners, whaling is but a losing 
concern ; for it is the harpooner that makes the voyage, 
and if you take the breath out of his body how can you 
expect to find it there when most wanted. ' ' 

Having decided that it is the harpooner who fills the 
picture, the artist must next pick his type. If he is a 
lover of the whaling classic there is recalled to his mind 
the dreadful Queequeg, who "eats nothing but steaks 
and likes 'em rare," or Daggoo, or Tashtego, the three 
salt-sea warriors with the portentous appetites which 
barons of salt junk could not satisfy. But these are not 
typical of the glorious host of whalemen who made the 
fame of New Bedford, valorous, hardy. God-fearing 

The whalers of yesteryear, whom the sculptor honors 
and perpetuates, is the Native born — '*A health to the 
Native born. Stand up!" — young men athirst for gain 
and glory in the fishery, "stalwart fellows who have 
felled forests and now seek to drop the axe and snatch 
the whale lance." The time was when the boys of New 
Bedford were fired by the deeds of the fathers and 
aspired to be captains and heroes. This is the figure 
of youth who stands at the prow of the boat — looking 

The Mercury has often expressed its admiration for 
the slogan of the whaleman, as brought out by Captain 
Ahab. Calling aft the crew, the captain demands : 


"What do ye do when ye see a whale, menr' 

''Sing out for him," responds the clubbed chorus. 

''And what do ye next, men?" 

"Lower away and after him!" 

"And what tune is it ye pull to, men?" 

"A dead whale or a stove boat!" 

In the one hundredth anniversary edition of the Mer- 
cury, the Mercury said of the phrase "A Dead Whale 
or a Stove Boat," that "it should be emblazoned on the 
monument we are one day to build to the whaleman. 
It should be inscribed in the schoolroom and on the 
wall of the bed chamber of the youth of New Bedford. ' ' 

We are rejoiced that our suggestion has been adopted 
and that the phrase will appear upon the sculpture. 
This slogan was the impulse which led the whaleman to 
do such deeds that all history cannot point to an enter- 
prise prosecuted with greater courage, hardihood, and 
intelligence. It is a glowing, slashing, spirit-stirring 
phrase, and we are glad it is to be perpetually before 
the youth of this city. 

No gift, we believe, could be more highly cherished 
than the memorial which Mr. Crapo has bestowed. We 
express, we know, a universal sentiment of appreciation, 
with the hope that the First Citizen of New Bedford, 
a position Mr. Crapo holds by common agreement, will 
live long in the place he loves so well, and honors no less. 


Unveiling of The Whaleman Statue 

"The Whaleman," William W. Crapo's gift to the 
city, was miveiled June 20, 1913, in the presence of 
thousands of interested spectators. 

In keeping with the sentiment that inspired the gift 
of the statue, Captain George 0. Baker, New Bedford's 
oldest living whaling master, performed the office of 
loosening the ropes that held the covering of the statue, 
and revealing the figure. 

Mr. Crapo spoke briefly in presenting the statue ; and 
Mayor Ashley made the address of acceptance in behalf 
of the city. Other speakers at the exercises were Ed- 
mund Wood, Eev. C. S. Thurber, P. C. Headley, Jr., 
and Otis S. Cook. 

The exercises incidental to the unveiling began at 11 
o'clock, in the presence of a crowd which covered the 
lawn around the bronze figure and overflowed across 
William and Pleasant streets. Traffic was prevented 
through these thoroughfares and electric cars were 
diverted through Sixth to Union street, that the im- 
mediate district might be kept as quiet as possible, and 
the spectators might be given an opportunity to hear 
the addresses of Mr. Crapo and of the others who par- 
ticipated in the programme. 

To Mr. Crapo was accorded a position of honor upon 
the speakers' platform which had been erected at the 
northeast corner of the Library building near the statue, 
while sitting there with him were the Mayor, who ac- 
cepted the statue on behalf of the city and who presided 
over the exercises, the speakers, and invited guests. The 
party included Captain Ezra B. Lapham and Captain 
Thomas H. Jenkins, Mayor Ashley, John I. Bryant, 
Jireh Swift, Clifton W. Bartlett, Librarian George H. 



Tripp, Pliineas C. Headley, Jr., Edmund Wood, Eev. 
Cliarles S. Tburber, Alexander McL. Goodspeed, Dr. 
Frank M. Kennedy, Frank A. Milliken, Otis S. Cook, 
George R. Phillips, Charles P. Maxfield of Fairhaven, 
and Charles W. Howland of Dartmouth. Invitations 
had been extended to the mayors of surrounding cities 
and to the selectmen of neighboring towns, but several 
of them, because of other business, were unable to be in 

The space immediately around the statue had been 
roped off in order to give Captain Baker ample room 
for the unveiling, while chairs were brought from the 
Library and placed in front of the platform for the in- 
vited guests. Among these were members of Mr. 
Crapo's immediate family, this party including Mrs. 
Sarah B. C. Ross, of Boston, a sister of Mr. Crapo; 
Mr. and Mrs. Stanford Crapo and family of Detroit; 
Henry H. Crapo, and Mrs. Charles W. Whittier and 
family of Milton. 

Included also in the group near the statue were Bela 
L. Pratt, the sculptor, and friends of Mr. Crapo. 

The platform which was used by the speakers had 
been built over the steps, and the woodwork was ob- 
scured by a covering of bunting, while large American 
flags on staffs marked the four corners of the stand. 

In order to regulate traffic, a police detail of 12 men, 
under command of Lieutenant Underwood was present. 

A few moments previous to the scheduled time for 
the exercises Mr. Crapo, the Mayor, and the others of 
the platform party met in the otBce of Librarian Tripp 
and promptly at 11 o'clock came through the Library 
and took their positions upon the stand, the statue 
hidden from view by its covering being directly to 
their left. 

After a selection by Gray's Band, the Mayor stepped 
to the front of the platform, accompanied by Captain 
Baker, and in introducing him paid a brief tribute to 
the former mariner — in the Mayor 's words, * ' a splendid 
example of the men who brought honor and fame to the 
hardy and fearless calling of the whalemen. ' ' 


The actual unveiling took but a moment, and as the 
covering fell away, revealing to the people for the first 
time the completed work, the Mayor introduced to those 
gathered about the statue, the donor, William W. Crapo. 

The Mayor expressed his gratification at the honor 
accorded him. 

Remarks by the Mayor: 

"One citizen there is among us, whose life embracing 
an honorable span of years, has witnessed each history 
making epoch in our expanding municipal development. 

"He has borne an important and commanding part in 
the business of other years and is a foremost figure in 
the enterprises of the present day. 

"To no other New Bedford man has been allotted so 
large a place in the activities of a community attaining 
marvelous prosperity in two pursuits so radically differ- 
ing in nature. 

' ' The devotion which he brings to the numerous duties 
which bear upon him, never allures him from the keenest 
interest in all that concerns our daily doings, and his 
reverent appreciation of our history and achievements 
has been manifested on every occasion. 

"At this time he confers upon us a dignified and im- 
pressive example of the traits and qualities which con- 
trol him, our distinguished fellow townsman, and I re- 
gard it as my most gratifying privilege to present him 
to you — William W. Crapo. ' ' 


Remarks hy Mr. Crapo: 

The statue of The Whaleman which is presented to 
the city recalls the earlier history of this locality. For 
a hundred years the whale fishery was the absorbing 
and well nigh exclusive industry of New Bedford, fur- 
nishing employment to its artisans on shore and to its 
sailors on the ocean. Its ships sailed from this port 
bound on long voyages to far distant seas and they 
returned with rich cargoes. They were manned with 
self-reliant, hardy, stout-hearted men. Many of them 
who had entered the forecastle, through well deserved 
promotions reached the quarter deck. They were trained 
to obey and they were fitted to command. Undaunted 
they encountered the terrific storms of the tropics and 
the ice fields of polar regions. Fearlessly they pur- 
sued, and with a daring not surpassed in mortal war- 
fare they captured the huge leviathans of the deep and 
made them contribute to the wants of mankind. 

These men brought back something more than barrels 
of oil and pounds of bone. They enriched our citizen- 
ship. In visiting foreign ports in every quarter of the 
globe for the purpose of shipments or recruits or 
repairs, in braving the perils of the ocean, in meeting 
the frenzied attacks of wounded and angry whales, in 
dealing with barbarous natives of South Sea Islands, 
in thrilling adventures and hair-breadth escapes, they 
gained strength of character, a broader vision, and a 
clearer judgment. Eetiring from a strenuous and 
hazardous service at a comparatively early age they 
sought on land the comforts of home. Here they were 
not idle. They engaged in various pursuits and they 
added greatly to the social life of the town. They were 
citizens whose opinions were respected by their neigh- 
bors, for they had been reared in a school which made 
them neither narrow-minded nor timid. Some of them 
took part in the management of our municipal affairs. 
The first mayor of New Bedford when a young man was 
a whaleman. He had stood at the masthead, in the boat 
as harpooner, he had "struck his whale," as the phrase 


went, and he earned the position and title of ship cap- 
tain. For five years he ably filled the office of chief 
executive of the city. 

It was the adventurous spirit and the rugged hardi- 
hood of our whalemen, the integrity and excellence in 
construction and equipment of our ships, and the 
sagacious foresight and fair dealing of our whaling 
merchants, that made New Bedford the foremost 
whaling port of the world. The industry still lingers 
here, a remnant of its former greatness. Instead of 
fleets of whalers cruising in every ocean, a few vessels 
returning from their voyages land their catch on our 
wharves. Modern devices have lessened the risk at- 
tending the pursuit and capture, and the romance that 
once gathered around the harpoon has largely vanished. 

This statue, placed in our civic center, a spot endeared 
to us by cherished memories, is erected in remembrance 
of the energy and fortitude, the toil and enterprise of 
the men who laid the foundation of the prosperity of 
this community. It is a tribute to men who faced 
dangers, who grappled with difficulties, and who achieved 
success. Let us hope that in keeping alive the story of 
the past it may serve to inspire the men of the future 
with confidence and courage to meet the perplexities 
and duties which await them. 

At the conclusion of Mr. Crape's remarks the Mayor, 
on behalf of the city of New Bedford, formally ac- 
cepted the statue, and as the city's chief executive ex- 
pressed the appreciation and the gratitude of the 

Remarks hy the Mayor: 

"I accept in behalf of the people this grand monument 
in the firm conviction that those of the days to come will 
have for it the regard and appreciation which now 
possess us. 


*'It is symbolical of deeds of fearless endeavor and 
typifies the sterling worth of resolute manhood in an 
important work of life, happily combining the toil of 
industry with the romance of adventure. 

''I believe it to be no part of exaggeration in forecast 
or over-statement in prophecy to proclaim as a certainty 
that this pile will find an enduring respect in the hearts 
of the people in whose control it is from this hour to 

''For them and in their name, I thank you." 

With the statue formally offered in its complete shape, 
and formally accepted by the city, the remainder of the 
programme was devoted to several short addresses, in 
which men prominently identified with different phases 
of the city's interests, added their words of tribute. 
Edmund Wood, president of the Old Dartmouth His- 
torical Society, was the first of the speakers. 

Remarks by Edmund Wood: 

The event of this day with its appropriate exercises 
writes a new and interesting page in our city's history. 
But this event today also recalls and commemorates the 
history of this community fifty and one hundred years 
ago. We are proud of our past and its glorious record 
of heroic achievement, but too seldom do we show our 
appreciation of what we owe to those who left us this 

The Old Dartmouth Historical Society, which I rep- 
resent here today, was founded in order to foster a 
reverence for the past, to preserve the records of those 
early days, and to keep the virtues of our forebears 
from falling into forgetfulness. The generous thought 
that inspired the gift which culminates today had its 
source in that same spirit of gratitude to those who 
created this goodly heritage. 

No more appropriate subject for a Memorial Statue 
could be found to typify and epitomize the founding of 


our prosperity. New Bedford's chief — its only industry, 
was the whale fishery, and it was a wonderful developer 
of the sturdy character of our people. In the mariner 
it called for bravery, hardihood, and endurance. In the 
successful merchant it demanded speculative boldness, 
patient confidence, and ability to endure with an equal 
mind the most extreme variations of fortune. It broad- 
ened the horizon of our local life and liberalized its 
thought. We knew that the earth was round, that there 
were other peoples, other religions, other civilizations. 

The spirit of exploration which even now breaks forth 
in successive Arctic and Antarctic expeditions, was sat- 
isfied by this constant pursuit of the whales into un- 
known and uncharted seas. 

The spirit of adventure appealed strongly to the youth 
and the extensive fleet which sailed from this port in 
the most successful days of the industry was recruited 
with no difficulty. Schiller's lines express the enthusi- 
asm of the time : 

"Youth with thousand masted vessel 
Plouglis the sea in morning- light." 

The stories of the chase and hunting adventure have 
always had a charm and fascination. Some of the 
earliest attempts at English literature and the still 
earlier songs of the minstrels recounted the perils of the 
hunt and the excitement of the killing. This must be 
inbred in our very nature, for the refinements of a more 
complex civilization have not eradicated it. The pop- 
ular magazines of today have frequent tales of the wild 
boar hunt, of shooting gigantic elephants and fierce 
lions, and tracking man-eating tigers in the jungle. But 
our fathers and mothers in the township of old Dart- 
mouth were not surfeited with magazines. In their 
place they revelled in the frequent recital of the more 
intimate personal experiences of a father or a brother 
on the other side of the earth. Shipwrecks among the 
Fiji or Society Islands, blood-thirsty fights with 
Madagascar pirates in the Indian ocean, or the losing 


of a whole boat 's crew by the lashing flukes of a hundred- 
barrel whale in his fearful dying agony. 

No wonder the boys went to sea when twelve or 
fourteen years old, or became stowaways on a whaler 
when parental permission was refused. 

But already these familiar tales are becoming tradi- 
tions and modern whaling with its bomb guns and other 
new appliances has lost many of the dangers that gave 
it its chief charm. 

In those early days the young whaleman of New 
Bedford experienced a thrill of excitement far keener 
than that of the modern hunter for great game with his 
magazine rifle. 

I have always been thankful, and I am doubly thank- 
ful today that as a New Bedford boy I had a chance to 
go on a part of a whaling voyage and to see for myself 
the chase, the capture, and the trying out, before the sad 
decadence of this our earliest industrj^ It makes one 
feel that he is a truer son of New Bedford and a more 
appreciative heir to all this rich inheritance of indus- 
trial romance. I can to some extent share the keen 
enjoyment of our surviving whalemen, on this occasion 
when we commemorate the heroism of those early days 
by this worthy monument of enduring bronze. 

I can recall now those long days of cruising in the 
North Atlantic in 36 degrees — 46 degrees with four 
vigilant lookouts at the mastheads and the mate also on 
the foretopsail yard. I can today almost feel the thrill 
of that moment when suddenly there came from aloft 
the welcome cry of '^ There she blows." The immediate 
bustle on deck, the lifting of the heavy tubs of towline 
into the boats, the rigging and unsheathing of the har- 
poons, the lowering of the boats, the barefooted sailors 
following down the sides of the ships, the long fierce 
pull with the oars, and then as the boats neared the 
whale, the sudden leap of the boatsteerer to the bow. 
He poises his harpoon, and as the boat slides almost 
on to the very back of the whale, he darts it deep into 
the huge carcass. ''Stern all," and the boat draws back 


from the awful danger, but not before the boatsteerer 
with desperate energy grabs his second harpoon and 
plunges it alongside of its fellow. 

With a fearful swish the whale is off. The line 
tightens through the length of the boat and spins round 
the loggerhead with lightning speed. After several 
minutes the officer in the stern snubs the line and gives 
the whale the weight of the boat. Forward it darts with 
amazing velocity. Down on the floor of the boat sink 
the green hands of the crew who are seeing their first 
whale, and hug the thwarts for safety — so terrified that 
even the curse of the mate is unheeded. 

But the whale is slackening his speed. He spouts 
blood and is severely wounded. 

Slowly the boat is pulled up to the whale. The mate 
now changes ends with the boatsteerer. He seizes the 
long and deadly-looking lance, and as the prow touches 
the side of the whale, he churns it for one dangerous 
instant into his very vitals. 

Now comes the flurry — the death agony — and woe to 
the boat that is found within range of those mighty 
flukes, as they lash the white water fifty feet into the 

The dead whale is proudly towed to the welcoming 
ship, and fastened alongside by the fluke chains which 
are led up through the hawser hole. The famished crew 
are fed, and as a special reward gingerbread is added 
to the regular bill of fare of lobscouse. But to the man 
who first sighted the whale is given a five dollar gold 

Now the scene of activity is shifted to the deck of the 
vessel. The cutting stage is rigged out over the water and 
the whale, and the heavy falls are led from the main top 
to the windlass. The officers on the stage cut with the 
sharp spades, and as the huge blanket pieces are hoisted 
toward the main top, the blubber is peeled spirally from 
the carcass. The fires are lighted under the try-works 
forward and burn fiercely, fed by the oily scrap. On 
through the night the work continues. It is a weird 


scene with tlie flames belching with fierce tongues high 
above the short chimneys, — the red glare reflected on 
the close-reefed sail aloft, and above all the noise and 
bustle sounds the droning, dragging chantey of the crew 
as they toil unceasingly at the windlass. 

All this vivid scene is suggested by this beautiful 
figure of the typical whaleman at the supreme moment 
of his life. After weeks of tedious cruising and keeping 
constant watch, the whale has been sighted, the boat 
has reached him, and everything, — the success of the 
voyage even, depends now upon his splendid nerve and 
vigorous manhood. 

He deserves this commanding public statue. He has 
waited long for this recognition. It has come, and the 
tribute is worthy and adequate. Not only we who are 
living today, but generations yet to come, who study our 
city's romantic history, will hold in grateful honor, the 
name and memory of the generous giver, and praise his 
wise and just appreciation of what this community owes 
to the New Bedford Whaleman. 

In introducing Eev. Charles S. Thurber, chaplain of 
the Port Society, Mayor Ashley paid a glowing tribute 
to the work for mankind which that organization has 
done, and is doing, in this city. "This association, one 
of the oldest in the city," he declared, "has done more 
for the uplift of mankind in New Bedford than any 
other association or society. ' ' 

Remarks by Rev. C. 8. Thurber: 

It affords me much pleasure to be privileged, on this 
brilliant occasion, to give a very brief history of the 
New Bedford Port Society, and a sketch of the splendid 
work which they have accomplished since their organ- 
ization took effect in 1828, or 85 years ago. 

The object of this society was to protect the rights 
and interests of seamen, and to furnish them with such 
moral, intellectual, and religious instructions as the 


Board of Managers should deem practicable. Article 
four of their constitution reads as follows : The busi- 
ness of the society shall be conducted by a president, 
two vice presidents, a treasurer, recording secretary, 
and eleven directors; who shall constitute a Board of 
Managers. The first election of officers of which we 
have any record took effect at the annual meeting held 
June 7tli, 1831. Their names in part were as follows: 
President, Thomas Rodman, Jr. ; vice presidents, Syl- 
vester Holmes, John Howland, Jr. ; recording secretary, 
Jonathan Tuttle; corresponding secretary, John H, W. 
Page ; treasurer, Jared Parkhurst. 

At this stage of our history it was highly inifjortant 
that some moral, intellectual, and spiritual reform 
should be brought to pass in the interests of New Bed- 
ford seamen; in consideration of the fact that at this 
time there were 150 ships sailing from this port, whose 
crews aggregated 7,500 men, and many of these men 
"like sheep scattered abroad, having no shepherd." 
They were considered as a distinct caste, or order of 
being, whose follies, since they could not be corrected, 
had to be endured. As one of the earlier chaplains 
presented the situation by saying: "The moment the 
sailor sets his foot on shore, all the means for the grati- 
fication of his fatal instincts are poured upon him in 
every form of allurement. He is immediately insane 
by intoxicating drink; and in this condition is sur- 
rendered over to 'the tender mercies of men and women, 
whose only subsistence is derived from plundering him 
of his earnings; and who, themselves, are destroying 
both soul and body by ministering to his vices." To 
improve these conditions the managers of the Port 
Society established the Seamen's Bethel, wliicli was 
dedicated and opened in May, 1832, under the pastoral 
care of the Rev. Enoch Mudge, who, from that time 
became, and continued to be, the unwearied, kind, 
judicious, and Christian friend of seamen. To him 
they were pearls that came from the ocean; jewels fit to 
adorn the Saviour's crown, and "what hath God 


wrought," througli liis ministry of love at the Bethel, 
for it is frequently noted that the Bethel was filled to 
overflowing with the men for whom it was founded. 
This ever vigilant chaplain also found, that in sickness 
the sailor often suffered from neglect and want. There- 
fore, several benevolent gentlemen united with him in 
representing to some of the ladies of this place the 
necessity of having arrangements made for the comfort 
of the sick. Their sympathies responded to the call, 
and after deliberation, in 1833, one or two meetings 
were called, a constitution was presented, adopted, and 
signed by about forty ladies who were organized under 
the name of the Ladies' Branch of the New Bedford 
Port Society. The first object of the Ladies' Society 
was to prepare suitable garments for the sick, bedding, 
mattresses, pillows and grave clothes; jellies, fruit, and 
other little comforts. At this time many of the board- 
ing houses were so wanting in neatness and every 
comfort, so noisy and disagreeable, that the task of this 
committee was no light one, and sometimes it was im- 
possible to make the patients comfortable except by a 
removal. There was no hospital, no receiving house for 
them, and much vigilance was necessary to secure 
proper care and attention. From this time on, the 
subject of a boarding-house for seamen which should 
be in all respects a *'home" for the sailor on his return 
to port continued to engage the attention of the Board 
until September 17th, 1850, when through the Board's 
untiring efforts and the kindness of Mrs. Sarah R. 
Arnold, in connection with her liusband, the Hon. James 
Arnold, the former mansion of her late father, William 
Rotch, Jr., was donated as a ''sailor's home," together 
with land eligibly situated, on which to place it, and 
funds to remove it and fit it for occupancy, adding even 
the care of fitting it upon its new foundation. The 
donation was made still more valuable by the condition 
annexed, that at least $3,000 should be added from other 
sources to furnish the ''home," and to enable the 
society to open it under favorable auspices. On Jan- 


uary 17tli, 1851, the committee reported that the sum 
of about $3,800 had been subscribed, of which $3,000 
had been paid into the treasury. Mr. Arnold then de- 
livered the deed of the "home" and lot, duly executed 
by him and his good wife. The whole expenses of re- 
pairing the house, making some required additions, 
putting up some fences, and furnishing it throughout, 
was about $2,200, Of this sum nearly $1,400 was paid 
from the funds of the society, and almost $800 was con- 
tributed by the Ladies ' Branch. 

From this statement it can be seen how deep was the 
interest felt by the ladies in this movement, and yet 
we are occasionally asked why we should do so much 
for our seamen? Let me repeat what you have doubt- 
less heard before. New Bedford is now, and always 
has been, at the head of the whale fishery throughout 
the world. Your magnificent public buildings, your 
private dwellings, typical of the "palaces of kings," are 
all the product of that form of industry, by means of 
which this wealth has been acquired. New Bedford 
owes almost every dollar of its wealth to the tireless 
energy of its sailors. Its hardy men have scoured every 
ocean where a whale could be found; and our beautiful 
city is the product of their labors. It is said that Lowell, 
Fall River, and Lawrence were built by spindles, but 
New Bedford was built by harpoons. These men have 
spent the greater part of their lives amid hours of 
loneliness and seasons of homesickness. They having 
left their dear ones in the distant land of their birth, 
at sea they were comparatively alone; no mother, no 
wife or sister near to whom they could tell the story of 
their sufferings. Some of these men came back to you 
crippled, scarred, and infirm for life, and many of them 
in need of your tender mercies. The New Bedford Port 
Society has never forgotten or neglected to provide, as 
best it could, for our industrious and loyal seamen. 
Nor have the people of our beloved city, during the 85 
years that our society has existed, ever withheld from 
us their benevolent spirit in our time of need. We 


have labored and they have helped us, we have asked 
and they have freely given, in the interests of these 
men; and from their hearts, if living, or from their 
silent tombs, whether they rest in country church-yard, 
or beneath the shadow of the deep blue sea, the spirits 
of the invisible heroes arise and hover as a cloud of 
witnesses about us on this important day, as we dedicate 
to their sacred memory this lasting monument. Speak- 
ing with a more universal language than ours: This, 
"ye have done in remembrance of me." To none do 
these words, applied to the living and the dead of our 
heroes, appeal more strongly than to our venerable 
citizen, Hon. W. W. Crapo, the generous donor of this 
memorial stone; this token of his love for his city, and 
the men who made it. This work for the people will 
show clearer and clearer, as the years pass on; by this 
he is building a monument more lasting than granite or 

But, let us all, by good deeds, kindly words, and by 
showing human sympathy for all mankind, also build a 
monument that will live until memory is gone and time 
shall be no more. Then when the "earth and the sea 
shall give up their dead" on that last great "Day of 
Judgment," the thousands whom you have comforted 
will say "We were a-hungered, and thou gavest us the 
bread of mercy; we were thirsty for friendship and 
thou gavest us companionship; we were strangers and 
thou gavest us a home ; we were sick from hardship and 
exposure, and thou didst visit us ; we were in the prison 
house of moral and spiritual despair and thou earnest 
unto us;" and the King will surely say, "Inasmuch as 
thou hast done this unto the least of these my brethren, 
thou hast done it unto Me." 

Representing the Board of Trade, which was formed 
years ago in the office of a pioneer whaling firm, was 
the president of today, P. C. Headley, Jr., and he paid 
tribute to the Yankee ships from New Bedford which 
carried the Stars and Stripes to every corner of the 


Remarks hy Mr. Headley: 

Mr. Chairman, Honored Guests, and Fellow Citizens : 

Perhaps it was nothing more than natural that the 
Board of Trade, as a representative civic body, should 
be asked to participate today in the dedication of this 
memorial to the whaling industry, given by one of New 
Bedford's best known citizens. However, the signifi- 
cance and appropriateness of that request were not so 
apparent at first. I recall the story of tlie Irishman and 
Scot who were vying with each other in connecting 
their countries with great events : 

"Ah, weel," said Sandy, "they toor doon an auld 
castle in Scotland and foond many wires under it, which 
shows that the telegraph was knoon there hoondreds o' 
years ago." 

"Well," said Pat, "they toor down an ould castle in 
Oireland, and begorra there was no wires found undher 
it, which shows that they knew all about wireless tel'- 
grapliy in Oireland hundreds av years ago." 

My hearers, I assure you there is a much closer re 
lationship between the Board of Trade and the whal- 
ing business in New Bedford and that its claims are 
more relevant than those of either the Scot or tlie 
Irishman; for, not only was this board created in the 
office of one of the pioneer whaling firms here, but it 
began solely for that interest, and was organized in the 
spring of 1884 by the honored George F. Bartlett, our 
own Mr. Phillips, and John F. Tucker. A little later 
Mr. Frederick Swift joined the ranks and the board was 
launched and he was made its first president. All tliese 
gentlemen represented leading shipping firms. The 
board was established for the specific purpose of abol- 
ishing the policy of secrecy in the prices received for 
whalebone and oil, as it was customary for competitors 
to conceal the prices of their sales. This secrecy 
worked to the disadvantage of the business as a whole 
and the Board of Trade opened its doors as a sort of 
exchange for this industry and tried to wipe out star 


chamber methods. An open book of prices was kept in 
the Board of Trade rooms and each dealer entered the 
price of his latest sale of oil or bone. Soon disaffection 
arose among some who clung to secrecy and who went 
on the principle of the man who said he ''made a for- 
tune minding his own business." Then the Board of 
Trade changed its direction for wider service and in- 
vited all merchants and individuals to join in the de- 
velopment of the common interest and helpfulness 
throughout the entire business life of the city. So the 
Board of Trade is peculiarly interested in this memorial 
to the great industry which brought this city into prom- 
inence and carried the name and fame of New Bedford 
from ocean to ocean; in fact, wherever the sea-roving 
man has turned his ship's prow; and, gentlemen, per- 
haps I may be pardoned in mentioning the additional 
pride I take today in representing this board, because 
that same I. H. Bartlett, in whose office the Board of 
Trade originated, was my grandfather. 

We are also proud of our city's progress and reputa- 
tion in the great industry of cotton manufacturing, but 
still we fondly cling to the viking lore and the dauntless 
courage of those former days, the days of the "An- 
cient Mariner, ' ' when that adventurous and enterprising 
spirit sent forth our ships over the face of the earth 
to gather from the far away climes the treasures of 
the deep in the face of every peril. We do not be- 
gin to appreciate the magnitude of their undertakings. 
Charts of the Arctic seas were most unreliable then 
and far from correct today, and the compass is so 
affected by polar magnetism that it cannot be depended 
upon, and navigation in those waters was largely in- 
tuitive and the rest common sense or uncommon sense. 
Beset with wintry blasts and frigid temperature and 
ever threatening fields of ice, they cruised about in 
unknown and unknowable waters. Thus bereft of ac- 
curate calculations, the American whaleman braved 
every conceivable peril, enduring long exile from home, 
in the face of almost certain death. No wonder these 


intrepid sailors earned the reputation of being the most 
skillful and daring navigators in the world. Moreover, 
they probably carried the American jflag into more in- 
accessible places than were ever reached by the flag of 
any other nation. Only last fall, in the harbor of Fayal, 
the Stars and Stripes were seen flying from nearly a 
dozen whaling vessels, a sight impossible to duplicate in 
any other department of our American shipping, about 
the only evidence we have of a merchant marine. 

That same spirit which carried our city to the front 
rank in this bold quest has also made her the first in fine 
goods and the second largest cotton manufacturing city 
in the United States, third in the state and fourth in New 
England, and fifth on the Atlantic coast in immigration. 
Nor has she been far behind in glass and silver ware, 
copper, twist drills, eyelets, and her cordage works from 
which the rope on yonder harpoon was made. She has 
many other large lines of business, including lumber and 
coal, as well as oil refineries known all over the world. 
New Bedford is of international fame in two great indus- 
tries, besides a peer of many in other trades. But 
she began her famous career on the world's waterways. 
Therefore, as president of the Board of Trade, which 
was the offspring of the whaling industry, I bring to 
you, sir, the donor of this gift, the gratitude of the past 
and the present, and pledge our co-operation in immor- 
talizing the ancient landmarks of fame and honor and 
in ever seeking this city's advancement for ''God and 

The last speaker of the forenoon was Otis Seahury 
Cook, one of the trustees of the Library. 

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Crapo, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

The New Bedford Library Trustees are customarily 
a docile and unobtrusive body. The average citizen 
rarely hears of them. At their board meetings they 
respectfully listen to the advice of the Librarian, and 


are wont to assent promptly to his suggestions. Thus 
they perform their duties in a manner generally com- 
mended by Mr. Tripp in his annual reports. 

Today, however, being assured of hearty sympathy, 
the trustees take advantage of an opportunity to ap- 
pear for themselves in public. 

To participate in these proceedings is a real privilege. 
The occasion marks an epoch in municipal events. It 
is an example and may become a precedent. The good 
spirit and generosity that have prompted the donor in 
giving the people this remarkable statue deserve 
magnanimous emulation. 

Here is an impressive reminder of earlier activities. 
It cannot fail to inspire. Rugged and tine, wrought 
with bold and delicate skill, and cast in lasting bronze, 
there is portrayed a character of venturesome self- 
reliance and determination. It seems to be an almost 
animate presentation of the idea, as the classic motto 
has it, that there must be "A dead whale or a stove 

The conception is accurate. It is correct historically. 
While the man's figure itself is properly slightly heroic, 
the demonstrating model, Eichard L. McLachlan, has 
been a New Bedford boatsteerer and first mate of whal- 
ers, and the pose is that of experience. The boat was 
produced from one that has had actual service, and may 
be found in the rooms of the Old Dartmouth Historical 
Society. It was measured and photographed and draw- 
ings of it were made under the artist's directions in the 
interest of exactness. The same museum furnished also 
the original of the harpoon. From our own Library 
was obtained much assistance. 

In this Library is the world's greatest collection of 
papers, books, and pictures relating to the industry 
and the romance of whaling. 

Bela Lyon Pratt has used these means and sources of 
information with earnest enthusiasm. His accomplish- 
ment is a distinction for the community. 


This man, born in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1867, in 
early youth gave evidence of superior talent, and now 
ranks as an acknowledged leader among American 
sculptors, a worthy successor of Saint Gaudens. 

Since 1892, when Pratt returned from the Ecole 
Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris, where he was 
awarded three medals and two prizes for excellence, he 
has been an instructor in modelling at the Boston 
Museum of Fine Arts. He is an associate member of 
the National Academy of Design, a member of the 
National Institute of Arts and Letters, and of many 
societies of scholars and men of genius. 

He designed two colossal groups for the water gate 
of the Peristyle at the Columbian Exposition; and of 
his various other notable successes there might be men- 
tioned six large spandrel figures for the main entrance 
to the Library of Congress; the bronze statue of the 
"Andersonville Prisoner Boy," erected at Anderson- 
ville, Georgia, for the State of Connecticut; groups at 
the front of the Boston Public Library; the recently 
dedicated statue of Edward Everett Hale in the Public 
Garden at Boston; and numerous well known works of 
art through all of which the lustre of his name has been 

May his present achievement stand for generations 
to regard as a credit to himself, an honor to the liberal 
patriotism of William W. Crapo, and a fitting monu- 
ment to the abiding fame of the City of New Bedford. 

A selection by the hand brought the formal exercises 
to a close. 


From the Morning Mercury, New Bedford: 

There was unveiled yesterday, on Library Square, 
the memorial to the race of whalemen who brought 
fame and fortune to the city and who contributed the 
example of bravery and energy which created a spirit 
among the men of New Bedford that has led to the 
prosperity of this neighborhood. 

The scene and incidents on the square yesterday will 
be long remembered in this community. The oldest of 
the whaling captains who is left, Captain George 0. 
Baker, sturdy as most at seventy-six, but with whitened 
hair and some of the afflictions that the burden of years 
must bring, lifted the covering from the bronze figure of 
Youth at the prow of the whaleboat with the harpoon 
poised, ready to hurl. 

It must have seemed to the aged captain like a glance 
backward when he stood with a glorious future before 
him, ''In the very May morn of his Youth, ripe for ex- 
ploits and mighty enterprises." 

The life of this captain who drew aside the covering, 
was typical of those whom the statue commemorates. 
He had gone to sea at the age of thirteen, had become 
a captain, and on his first voyage as commander his ship 
was captured by the Shenandoah and burned. The 
Confederate captain, Waddell, promised him a high 
place in the Confederate navy if he would forswear his 
allegiance to the Union, which he of course refused. 
Then he was landed at Ascencion and led the army of the 
savage king, with a sword tied about his wrist with a 
ropeyam, ''fighting for a king against the common peo- 



pie, notwithstanding- 1 have always been a Democrat," as 
the captain puts it. For this service the king offered to 
adopt him, but the captain put aside the crown and re- 
sumed whaling. So the story runs. We only touch upon 
the captain's career here to show the experiences that 
came to the whalemen whom the statue personifies. 

An attempt was made to get the captains together. The 
little group that gathered reminds us how few are left. 
So it was time that those who remember the whaleman 
and his deeds should pay the tribute the memory de- 
serves, and it is a source of gratification that the First 
Citizen of New Bedford, William W. Crapo, was prompt- 
ed to do this admirable thing in the manner that must 
fill every citizen with satisfaction. 

In selecting Bela Pratt for the task, Mr. Crapo picked 
the best man available and the result shows that the 
sculptor found inspiration in the subject and possessed 
the genius to execute it in a fashion which will make it 
among the noteworthy achievements of the sculptors of 
this period. 

The harpooner is the figure that deserves to be per- 
petuated in a composition commemorating the whaleman. 
It is the harpooner who makes the voyage. His task is 
the difficult one. When the boat lowers to go upon a 
whale, custom requires the harpooner to pull the fore- 
most oar. He is not only expected to pull his oar to the 
uttermost, but he is expected to set an example of super- 
human activity to the rest, not only by incredible row- 
ing but by repeated loud and intrepid exclamations. 

Mr. Pratt chose for his harpooner such a young man as 
were found aboard whalers in the palmy days, young fel- 
lows of stalwart frames, fellows who had felled forests, 
and dropped the axe to snatch the whale lance — fellows 
all athirst for gain and glory in the fishery. The New 
Bedford whaling master in the olden days wore, when 
ashore, broadcloth and fine linen, big seals for watch fobs 
and silk hats. He was pointed out by the boys as a cap- 
tain, no less a lord than the captain of a Mississippi 
steamboat. The whaling merchants lived in lofty man- 


sions, in brave houses with flowery gardens, "one and all 
harpooned and dragged up hither from the bottom of the 

The sculptor, then, was to fashion a youth, brave, hot 
and bold looking to become the captain of a ^^laleship, 
with all the power and glory that the position meant 
in that day. That is the youth who is at the prow of 
the whaleboat in the statue. His face is as handsome 
as a Praxiteles. It is a strong face, revealing that the 
imminent instant has arrived. The figure is superb and 
the pose is grand and free in a way that manifests the 
genius of the sculptor. We feel that here is a resource- 
ful man, ''one who," as Mr. Bullen has said, "could 
whittle with a jack-knife a quadrant, tear off the rim of 
a compass focal for an arc, break up a five-cent mirror 
for a speculum, and with such crude device, fight his 
way back to home and life." 

The whaleman is hard to satisfy when it comes to the 
details of his trade and the task of the sculptor has not 
been easy. The bronze whaleman faced a critical crowd 
yesterday. The old sailors grudgingly admitted, as a 
general thing, that the position of the harpooner, if he 
was throwing his lance into a bowhead, was all right. 
They didn't think the dimensions of the boat were 
accurate. The harpooner should have more room 
"forrard." The curve of the bow of the whaleboat was 
not exact. The ribbon on the boat is too wide. The 
line was not properly rigged in running through the 
bow direct to the harpoon. "If the harpooner is strik- 
ing a bowhead he must be in the Arctic, and he ought 
to have a shirt on," commented one who said he was a 
whaler, but who may have been a sea cook, or a son of 
one. "Maybe he's harpooning a sperm whale in the 
Atlantic," said a bystander. "He wouldn't go out in a 
boat without his shirt if he was after sparm," was the 
reply. ' ' He 'd burn his back. ' ' 

The difficulty with most of the critics is that they are 
unaware that there is such a thing as artistic license. 
The prow of the boat is purposely foreshortened be- 


cause in looking up from the position the statue occupies, 
the figure would not be visible if this was not done. 
Mr. Pratt made an effort to find what a whaleman 
habitually wore. He was told they insisted upon straw 
hats for the summer season, any old hat at any other 
time. Old prints showed a harpooner, in one instance 
wearing a plug hat. The sculptor found nothing in the 
slop chests of the outfitters that could be effectively 
reproduced in bronze. So he chose the bareheaded 
figure, naked from the waist up, and the choice un- 
questionably assists the suggestion the statue was de- 
signed to make. There is authority in Melville, if any 
was needed, "As for Fedallah," we read, "who was 
seen pulling the harpooner oar, he had thrown aside his 
black jacket and displayed his naked chest with the 
whole part of his body above the gunwale, clearly cut 
against the alternating depressions of the watery 

These criticisms recall that when Robert Swain Gif- 
ford, William Bradford, and Van Beest painted the 
picture, "The Chase," they mounted it on a card with 
a six-inch margin and invited the whaling masters to 
write criticisms upon it. The entire margin .was covered 
and there was no agreement among them. The sculptor 
need not be concerned. It is like a sailor to grumble. 
In his heart every son of them is filled with top-gallant 
joy and delight at the inspiring consummation of the 
work, a feeling in which the citizens of New Bedford 

From The Evening Standard, New Bedford: 

Elsewhere in this newspaper will be found a full 
account of the unveiling of The Whaleman statue on the 
grounds of the Free Public Library, with the eloquent 
and modest address of the giver, and the appreciative 
words of tlie speakers who appeared for the city and 
for the various organizations which were appropriately 
represented on this occasion. When the gift was an- 


nounced, some months since, this newspaper endeavored 
to express its own pleasure and the community gratitude 
that at last a long-cherished hope was to be given visible 
form. This afternoon we can say no more than to re- 
vive a few of the words which came when the conception 
of The Whaleman, as is now displayed in the centre 
of the city, was new. So today is repeated : 

Mr. Crapo's brief address, we venture the suggestion, 
needs one emendation. Nowhere in it does he refer 
to himself. The personal pronoun singular is signally 
distinguished by non-appearance. That he put himself 
out of sight in his tribute to The Whaleman was 
modestly graceful. But this community ought never to 
forget the giver of this emblem of achievement and this 
inspiration to endeavor. 

From The Evening Standard, New Bedford: 

Whenever the Observer looks out of his window he 
generally sees some one looking at The Whaleman 
statue. At this season of the year, when vacationists 
and tourists visit this town in larger numbers than many 
of our people realize, there are many of these people 
who come round to look at the bronze mariner, and a 
large share of them, it may be said parenthetically, go 
into the Public Library. The Observer likes to see them 
do that, for the Library's interior is one of the most 
attractive in the country. Almost every one who visits 
it says so, and it is gratifying to have so many visitors 
from abroad coincide with the conviction, even if it is 
partly founded on home pride, of residents of New 
Bedford who have some qualification for judging. Per- 
haps some day the librarian and his assistants will 
repeat to the people of this city a few of the many very 
gratifying compliments of this magnificent Library of 


But to go back to the statue. It is a great favor- 
ite with the amateur photographer. Travellers with 
elaborate outfits spend a long time in studying lights 
and shades and angles and backgrounds and distances 
before they focus and expose. Others pull out vest 
pocket cameras and snap recklessly from all points of 
view, lest haply they might get one good picture. The 
other day a substantial looking gentleman lined up his 
wife and three children in front of the statue, and 
carried off a proud souvenir. At any rate, let us hope 
his shutter worked and that he didn't forget to turn 
the film. Some visitors look at the statue for a long- 
time and from every side. Others are satisfied — ap- 
parently well satisfied — with one glance. There are 
times when the pantomime is obvious and amusing — as, 
for example, when a husband and wife come together 
and when one wants to study the work and the other 
doesn't, and whose every pose would make an excellent 
model for the bored. The boys usually want to look 
inside of the boat ; and that is, on the whole, an evidence 
of their alert interest. It is far better than having no 
interest at all. Occasionally there comes along a group 
whose conversation the Observer would like to overhear. 
The other day two boys, eight or ten years old, home 
boys, barefooted with trousers rolled up, with their 
hands behind them, stood at a respectful distance for a 
long time, and talked. They were serious about it, too. 
That much could be seen from the window even if not a 
word could be heard. One would be safe in wagering 
that the kids were not debating the technique. Another 
was the trio composed of two Italian men, evidently 
laborers, and an Italian woman with a red handkerchief 
over her head. Their inspection of the statue was also 
minute, and their talk was also serious. The Observer 
is disposed to believe that their comment would have 
been worth hearing. So, perhaps, are the comments of 
men who point and wave their arms. But mostly these 
latter are knockers — and they are rapidly getting to 
be in the minority. 

Appendix I 


Written by John Spollon and first published in Fibre and Fabric, 
May 14, 1903. 

One evening in May I was watching the play 
Of the wild restless waves rolling in from the bay 
At the breezy south end of the city, 
And listening, meanwhile, to the ditty 

Of a mariner aged and gray: 
"From where towered the masts of barques, schooners, and 

I turn to see rising those factory smokestacks ; 
And, I tell you, I think it a pity 
That the Whaleman so hardy and gritty 

Is rapidly passing away. 

"Look! Two arms of the sea half enclose the place. 
It resembles to me the despairing embrace 
Of a mistress cast off and forsaken, 
Who clings with affection unshaken 

To a lover grown cold and estranged. 
I remember the time when her favors were sought; 
But they had to be purchased, and dearly were bought 
By the bold rough-and-ready sea-ranger, 
No wonder he turned to a stranger: 

Picked up a new love and is changed. 

"Like the osprey he fared with his wings to the breeze; 
Every danger he dared where his prey he could seize, 
And no other land was the poorer 
(Than this statement nothing is surer) 

For the riches he brought to this shore. 
When the earth yielded oil it but altered his toil, 
And he built the first factory on New Bedford soil. 



While his city grows bigger and bigger, 
In cotton he cuts a new figure, 

For his work as a whaleman is o'er. 

"Yet I heartily wish his old shape could be seen. 
In marble or bronze, mounted here on the green. 
As a Founder the town should remember 
Till Sentiment's last glowing ember 

To ashes has faded away. 
Let his monument stand, with his harpoon in hand. 
Sturdy sou of the sea who dragged wealth to the land, 
In defiance of hardship and danger; 
For in this town he'll soon be a stranger," 

Said the mariner aged and gray. 

John Spollon, a mill worker, was born of Irish parents 
in Camden, New Jersey, about 1858. His career on tlie 
sea began when he was sixteen and continued for nine- 
teen years, during which period he twice rounded Cape 
Horn and the Cape of Good Hope and four times 
crossed the Atlantic. 

Appendix II 


When Bela L. Pratt was asked by William W. Crapo 
to model a statue of a whaleman, to be erected in this 
city as a gift to its people, Mr. Pratt's first problem 
was to procure a suitable model. 

**I must have a real boatsteerer," was Mr. Pratt's 
declaration; "a man who has himself been long familiar 
with the harpoon." 

Accordingly search was instituted to find an American 
whaleman of the Captain Ahab type. Augustus G. 
Moulton of J. & W. R. Wing Company was asked if 
they could produce one, and responded by offering as 
a model a native of the Cape de Verde Islands. The 
whaleman of the statue, however, was to typify the early 
Yankee courage that sent New Bedford's sailors across 


all the oceans of the world, spearing cetaceans for oil, — 
so the outfitters were asked to find a boatsteerer of the 
old type, — the type made famous in "Moby Dick" and 
other stories of the sea. 

Then it was that Richard Lewis McLachlan of this 
city, a veteran of the sea, and who for ten years was a 
boatsteerer, was proposed. Mr. McLachlan was, ac- 
cordingly taken to the rooms of the Old Dartmouth 
Historical Society, where he posed in the bow of a 
whaleboat with poised harpoon for photographs for Mr. 
Pratt. The pictures pleased, and the boatsteerer was 
summoned to Boston. 

Mr. McLachlan first went to sea in 1873 as a cabin boy 
in the merchant service, voyaging from Portland, 
Oregon, to Queenstown, Ireland, round the Horn. Then 
again he went voyaging from New York to the West 
Indies ; on many other voyages he sailed to the western 
ocean, continuing in the merchant service until about 

It was about the year 1885 that the boatsteerer went 
whaling along the Pacific coast to the Arctic sea. His 
first trip was on the bark Rainbow, Captain Barney 
Cogan, and on the very first trip the savage ice of the 
north rushed upon the Rainbow and shattered her great 
sides. "Stove in the ice off Cape Thaddeus," said he, 
in telling the story, "we were picked up by the bark 
Fleetwing. ' ' 

He afterwards shipped on the bark Hunter, engaged 
in Arctic whaling, and finished the season on that vessel. 
During the Southern California boom, he was engaged 
as a longshoreman for the Broadway Steamship Com- 
pany. Then he returned to whaling again in the Behring 
Sea. In the employ of tlie Pacific Steam Whaling Com- 
pany, he spent many winters in the Arctic. In later 
years, he shipped, after serving for ten years as boat- 
steerer, as fourth mate on a vessel belonging to J. & W. 
R. Wing Company to Japan; then as second mate on 
the Alice Knowles, Captain Earle, to the Indian Ocean. 


His last voyage was on the schooner Valkyria, which 
he left at Fayal in October, 1911. The Valkyria was 
in the whaling business, and Mr. McLachlan was her 
chief mate. 

''The bottom is out of whaling," declared the boat- 
steerer, with a despondent shake of his head. "It does 
not pay to go a 'whaling any more. ' ' 

Appendix III 


In The Evening Standard appeared the following 
account of the work on the statue as it gradually 

Hon. William W. Crapo proposes to give to the city 
of New Bedford a memorial to the New Bedford whale- 
man in the form of a statue to be set up, as he sug- 
gests in his letter, on the grounds of the Free Public 
Library. As Mr. Crapo relates, Bela L. Pratt of Bos- 
ton, one of the chief among living American sculptors, 
has designed the model for the statue from photo- 
graphs of which the illustrations given herewith are 
reproduced. It should be understood that at present 
the statue is in the stage which the sculptor calls a 
sketch, and though, in the main, this sketch may be ac- 
cepted as prefiguring the completed statue, it is sub- 
ject to more or less change with respect to details. As 
the sketch now stands in the studio, it is a clay model 
say two feet or more high, built uj^on a pedestal. It is 
still the object of the artist's manipulations, mostly 
with the purpose of giving delicacy of completion to 
the conception, with probably no great alteration of the 
main idea, and possibly none at all. 

As to the conception of The Whaleman, that was Mr. 
Crapo 's thought. His purpose was to commemorate 
and typify the New Bedford whaleman, not as a rem- 
iniscence, but as a living human being. So, in accord- 


ance with Mr. Crapo's desire, the artist has fashioned 
the presentment of the boatsteerer in the pose of throw- 
ing the harpoon from the whaleboat's bow. He stands 
for the whaling industrj^ at its very prime, a young 
man, daring and ambitions, full of expectation to make 
the whale fishery a route to realizing all his dreams of 
life success. That, in brief, is the meaning of this statue. 

The statue, the boat in which it stands, and the con- 
ventionalized waves will be of bronze. The figure will 
be a little larger than life size, its anticipated position 
as related to the observer making that treatment most 
effective. The pedestal and the background will be of 
granite, of a color and texture to match, as nearly as 
may be, the granite of the Library building. On the 
face of the background, that is, the side toward the 
statue, will be carved a suggestion of sea and sky, with 
sea birds floating on the wing, and at the lower right 
hand corner, this quotation from "Moby Dick": "A 
dead whale or a stove boat." The other side will bear 
an inscription phrased very like the words used in the 
first paragraph of Mr. Crapo's letter to the mayor: 
''In honor of the whalemen whose skill, hardihood, and 
daring brought fame and fortune to New Bedford and 
made its name known in every seaport on the globe." 
The top of the granite background will be somewhere 
from twelve to fifteen feet above the sidewalk level, 
making the entire structure of dignified and impres- 
sive proportions. Two locations have been proposed — 
one on the northeast corner of the Library grounds, 
and the other directlj^ in front of the steps. That, 
however, is a matter to be settled later. 

It is not probable that the statue can be placed in 
position before next year. While the sculptor will ad- 
vance the work with a reasonable celerity, most of the 
processes cannot be hurried. So that a year and a half 
may easily elapse before the memorial will be set up 
in this city. 


Appendix IV 


"The Whaleman," Bela L. Pratt's monument, the gift 
of William W. Crapo to the city, will be placed in the 
grass plot at the northeast corner of the Library lot, 
the site which Mr. Pratt considers the best for the monu- 

A special meeting of the Board of Trustees of the 
Free Public Library was held Thursday evening to con- 
sider the location for the monument, and the members 
present were in accord with the decision of Mr. Pratt. 

Jireh Swift, Jr., was elected chairman of the meeting, 
in the absence of the mayor, and the members present 
were Messrs. Milliken, Goodspeed, Kennedy, and Cook. 
Henry H. Crapo attended the meeting, also Nat C. Smith, 
architect of the building. 

Dr. Kennedy stated that he preferred the north corner, 
and Mr. Milliken asked if Mr. Crapo had any prefer- 

Mr. Crapo stated that his father had no personal 
preference, preferring to leave the matter of the site 
to Mr. Pratt's judgment. He said that since Mr. Pratt's 
recent visit to view the possible locations, he had asked 
him to express his opinion, and he read the following 
letter that he had received to present to the trustees: 

Jan. 18, 1913. 

Board of Trustees, New Bedford Public Library, 

New Bedford, Mass. : 

Dear Sirs : — After my consultation with you and our 
experiments with the dummy arranged for the testing 
of the site of the proposed monument given by Hon. 
W. W. Crapo to commemorate the whalemen of New Bed- 
ford, I am more firmly than ever convinced that the 
proper site for said monument is that which I originally 
selected, namely, on the north corner of the plot in front 
of the Public Library building. There might' be some 


slight change necessary in the arrangement of the 
paths, but on the whole I consider the site satisfactory 
and trust that it may be adopted by you. 

Most sincerely yours, 


Mr. Crapo said further that his first impression was 
that the south corner plot would be the best, but he had 
been convinced that the north corner was better than 
the south. As to the central location, he said that if 
the background was cut down in order to locate the 
monument directly in front of the building it would 
have to be entirely obliterated, and the figure would 
have to be set against the steps. 

He said that Mr. Pratt's idea of location on the north 
lot is to lift it about 18 inches, and to have the boat 
headed northeast so that the harpoon is directed out 
towards the corner of Pleasant and William streets. 

The site suggested met with the approval of all the 
trustees present, and it was voted to adopt the sculp- 
tor's recommendation. The trustees agreed to leave 
matters of detail as to exact location, foundation, and 
drainage connection for the boat with Nat C. Smith, 
the architect of the building, who was pleased with the 
site selected for the monument. 

Appendix V 


The motto ''A dead whale or a stove boat!" to be 
inscribed on the background of The Whaleman statue, 
is from a stirring passage in Herman Melville's story 
of whaling life, ''Moby Dick, or the White Whale." 
Captain Ahab, master of the Pequod, having one wooden 
leg, was walking on the deck. The recital goes on as 
follows : 


"It drew near the close of day. Suddenly he came 
to a halt by tiie bulwarks and inserting his bone leg into 
the auger-hole there, and with one hand grasping a 
shroud, he ordered Starbuck to send everybody aft. 

" 'Sir!' said the mate, astonished at an order sel- 
dom or never given on shipboard except in some ex- 
traordinary case. 

" 'Send everybody aft,' repeated Ahab. 'Mast-heads, 
there ! Come down ! ' 

"When the entire ship's company were assembled, 
and with curious and not wholly unapprehensive faces, 
were eyeing him, for he looked not unlike the weather 
horizon when a storm is coming up, Ahab, after rapidly 
glancing over the bulwarks, and then darting his eyes 
among his crew, started from his standpoint; and as 
though not a soul were nigh him resumed his heavy 
turns upon the deck. With bent head and half-slouched 
hat he continued to pace, unmindful of the wondering 
whispering among the men; till Stubb cautiously whis- 
pered to Flask, that Ahab must have summoned them 
there for the purpose of witnessing a pedestrian feat. 
But this did not last long. Vehemently pausing he 
cried : — 

" 'What do ye do when ye see a whale, men?' 

"'Sing out for him!' was the impulsive rejoinder 
from a score of clubbed voices. 

" 'Good!' cried Ahab, with a wild approval in his 
tones, observing the hearty animation into which his 
unexpected question had so magnetically thrown them. 

" 'And what do ye next, men?' 

" 'Lower away, and after him!' 

" 'And what tune is it ye pull to, men?' 

" 'A Dead Whale or a Stove Boat!' 

Appendix VI 


That the statue of "The Whaleman" given to New 
Bedford by William W. Crapo and unveiled Friday has 


fired anew the interest of the people here in the ro- 
mance and the adventure of the old whaling days has 
been pretty apparent during the past two days, and 
within that period thousands of people have paused in 
their journey through the centre to admire the figure, 
and thousands have been the stories handed down, and 
perhaps well-nigh forgotten, which have been rehearsed 
again in front of the statue. 

Mr. Crapo said during the course of his remarks at 
the exercises Friday that he hoped the stories of the 
old whaling days would never die in this community, 
and it seems as if no one who ever heard a whaling story 
or ever read a whaling story here but what the statue 
recalls it to him. Old citizens who knew whaling masters 
and sailors in their day have stood in front of the 
statue during the last few days, and in talkative frame 
of mind have chatted away with perfect strangers, re- 
counting the tales that they had heard themselves from 
the lips of the ''blubber hunters." And then there is 
the next generation, some of whose fathers or uncles or 
grandfathers went to sea and the stories have come 
down to them. And then, last of all, perhaps, are the 
youngsters to whom the adventure appeals with tremen- 
dous force, who stand in groups with mouth hanging 
wide open, literally swallowing every word that is said, 
and turning in wonderment from story teller to the 
heroic figure of ''The Whaleman." 

Assuredly one has needed to stand near "The Whale- 
man" but a few moments at any hour of the day or 
evening since the statue was revealed to learn that there 
has already been a lively awakening of interest in the 
old whaling days, and to learn that the stories of those 
romantic days will not die so long as the statue stands 

And some of the yarns are wonderful yarns that are 
spun in the shadow of this upstanding boatsteerer. In 
many instances names have been forgotten by those 
who tell the tales, or perhaps simply a last name is 
given, but the nub of the story is always there, the in- 


cident which has been handed down which typifies the 
skill and the daring and the courage. 

One man stepped up yesterday morning, looked at the 
statue awhile and then became critical — the work had 
awakened in him some thought at least. 

"Look at the chest muscles and the arms of that 
man," he remarked. ''I don't believe there ever was a 
sailor went out of here with a development like that, 
allowing, of course, for the heroic size of the man stand- 
ing here in bronze." 

He was half talking to himself, but around the statue 
all conversation becomes public property and a by- 
stander was quick to answer. He is a rigger, or at 
least was a rigger years ago and he knew whalemen. 
''That may be so true, to your way of thinking," was 
his retort, ''but I would hate to see you in the grip of 
some of the arms that have hurled irons from New 
Bedford boats, just the same." 

And then this brought up a discussion of the feats 
of strength that have come to the present generation in 
stories of the sea. One man told of a mate who in sheer 
desperation when his newly shipped boatsteerer missed 
on three successive attempts on different days to make 
a strike, hustled to the bow of the boat, and grabbing 
the man around the waist hurled him bodily overboard, 
and then putting about picked him up and carried him 
back to the ship, scared, but far from drowned, and 
taught a lesson the moral of which — ^never try to throw 
a bluff — he doubtless never forgot so long as he lived. 

And then ensued a discussion as to how far a boat- 
steerer ever hurled an iron; of how often they struck 
and of how often they missed ; of how many hours they 
remained out in the boats, how fast a whale ever towed 
them, and how long they'd stick to a 100-barrel "fish" 
before they would cut a line and give up the fight. All 
night battles, according to the stories, were common 
occurrences, as were also stove boats, which formed an 
interesting question for discussion. 


One man told of a boat's crew in which his uncle 
pulled an oar, of which five out of the six men could 
not swim a stroke, and never learned during the whole 
voyage. This boat, of course, got stove, for it was 
either kill the whale or stick until you found yourself 
overboard. This boat's crew went up to lance the whale 
and the whale's flukes, descending, splintered the boat. 
The captain was forward and twisted the lance. He 
was one of the five who could not swim, or at least 
never was known to. But he saw another boat one 
hundred yards from him, and according to ''uncle's" 
story, re-told today in front of Bela Pratt's statue, the 
"old man" simply walked through the water, with his 
prodigious strength propelling him so fast that when 
the rescuing boat dragged him aboard he wasn't wet 
above his waist. 

And then there were stories of boys, "My grand- 
father" or my "grandfather's brother" who ran away 
to sea and finally trod the quarter deck as master of 
his own ship, stories of foreign islands and strange 
peoples — and perhaps it is little wonder that "kids" 
listened for a time, studied the face of the statue a 
little, and then hustled for the library to get "Moby 
Dick" and the yarn of the white whale. 

There were an endless array of questions, asked by 
everybody of anybody who happened to be near enough 
to listen, or skilled enough in whaling lore to answer. 
People wanted to know what the ropes were, how heavy 
the iron was, why there was a "hole" in the bow for 
the rope to run through, why the man with the harpoon 
was called the boatsteerer, and a thousand and one 
other queries that were indicative of the interest which 
has been revived in the old-time industry. And people 
whose interest is aroused usually persist until they learn. 

And then, too, to prove that there was a regular 
"gam" in progress, there was an argument yesterday 
afternoon between two old whalemen as to the respec- 
tive prowess of one of them. Whaleman Number One 
sailed out on the Eeindeer as boatsteerer years ago, and 


he and liis friend in the argument agreed that the statue 
was an admirable bit of work. ''Makes me think of 
the time I put an iron in a right whale, the first I struck 
on the Reindeer. "We were right on top of her when 
I let go, a straight up and down strike, and down went 
the whale. We ran out two tubs of line, stayed by all 
night, and in the morning hitched a tackle on and tried 
to get her up. Ropes broke and we lost her." There- 
upon the argument ensued as to whether one rope or 
both snapped, and as Whaleman Number One was of 
the opinion that the log was down in the rooms of the 
Old Dartmouth Historical Society, down the street they 
went to look up the records. 

Appendix VII 
From The Evening Standard, New Bedford: 

That the statue of ''The Whaleman" should be un- 
favorably criticized was inevitable. The criticism, how- 
ever, usually concerns itself with the technical accuracy 
of the design, not with its general effect, its artistic 
excellence, or the pleasure it affords the beholder. 
Some minds could never approve a picture of a battle, 
be it painted ever so beautifully, if the commanding 
general had one too many buttons on his coat. Sea- 
faring men are notoriously fussy about details of this 
sort. A spirited marine, with a ship speeding along, 
under full sail, would be damned in their eyes if the 
shrouds were not so accurately drawn as to serve as a 
working plan to a rigger. "These people," said one 
observer, "didn't want a picture of a ship — they wanted 
a map." And all because the whaleman in the case of 
this statue in front of the Library, observes it under 
the fatal handicap of an expert knowledge of the busi- 
ness the bronze figure is set to symbolize. The man who 
never went whaling and never balanced a harpoon is 


not burdened with any such knowledge, and to him the 
creation of Mr. Pratt is satisfying. 

It has been objected that tlie whaleman holds his har- 
poon the wrong way. What it might be asked is the 
right way? It is inconceivable that there should be just 
one way of holding a harpoon, just as it is that there 
should be only one way of holding a pen. It must be 
remembered that before modelling the whaleman the 
sculptor had for a model a man who had been to sea 
and who is rated as one of the best boatsteerers here- 
abouts. He held the weapon HIS way, even if it was 
not the way of some other harpooner. Should some 
sculptor design a statue of a ball player at bat, and 
model it from so distinguished a batter as Mr. Cobb 
of Georgia, critics would doubtless come forward to 
complain that the pose was all wrong because Mr. Wag- 
ner of Pittsburg did not bat that way. In the case of 
a batter, the thing to do is to get a hit; in the case of 
the whaleman it is to get the whale; and somehow or 
other, looking at this figure of Mr. Pratt's, with shoul- 
ders, arms and chest of a Hercules, we have no doubt 
that the imaginary whale just ahead of him is as good 
as caught. 

''Another thing," said an old whaleman who had been 
telling what a bad, bad statue it is, "who ever saw a 
whaleman without a shirt? I've been whaling for thirty 
years and have made twenty voyages, and I never saw 
a boatsteerer with his shirt off." "Where did you go 
whaling?" he was asked. "Mostly in the Arctic," was 
the reply. 

H 46 '78"* 

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